Randox celebrates Women in STEM at Armagh Planetarium Ask A Scientist Event
“Have you always known that you wanted to be an Engineer?”
“Is there opportunity for career progression and promotion within Engineering?”
“So you do for the Randox machines what app developers do for smartphones?”
These were just some of the astute and intriguing questions posed by students of Dungannon Integrated College, Drumcree College Portadown, and St Ciaran’s Ballygawley, to our Randox Software Engineer, Ciara Shaw, at Armagh Planetarium’s Ask A Scientist Event on Friday 18th November.
The event took place as part of Science Week 2016, organised by the Science Foundation Ireland, and the day took the format of a Speed Networking session. Students each spent 10 minutes chatting with a scientist, asking them all the questions they’ve ever wanted to know about careers in STEM, and then moved on to the next candidate!
This year the event had a particularly exciting twist – all the scientists involved were women!
Ciara was one of a group of nine women with a career in STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – who took the time to meet with the students in attendance to chat to them about working in STEM.
As a hard-working and proud engineer, Ciara took the opportunity to inspire young women to take up STEM subjects for their GCSEs and A-Levels.
Currently, only 9% of the UK’s engineering and technology workforce is made up of women, a statistic which Ciara highlighted in her key note speech at the Ask A Scientist event.
Following the event, she commented;
“I’ve always been interested in IT and Engineering and so it surprises me that only 9% of the engineering and technology workforce in the UK is made up of women. I wanted to showcase to the pupils at the Ask A Scientist Event today that working in STEM is an exciting and valid career choice for women as much as it is for men. At Randox alone there are opportunities to work across a wide range of STEM disciplines – software developers and testers, IT support, engineers, research scientists, mathematicians working in finance and accounts…the list goes on. I hope that through today’s event I was able to encourage some pupils to choose to study STEM subjects at school, so that they can aspire to these jobs in their future.”
Chatting to the pupils in their Q&A sessions, Ciara found the pupils had aspirations in abundance.
“One pupil told me they wanted to be an Orthopaedic Surgeon, and another said they were going to be an Architectural Engineer. It was amazing getting the chance to listen to their hopes and plans for the future, and hopefully by answering their questions, helping them get on the path to achieving their goals.”
Joining Ciara at the event were representatives from the CSI Service of the PSNI; Siobhan Stevenson, Head of Collections Care at National Museums Northern Ireland; Kerry, Heather and Sam, Education Support Officers at the Armagh Planeatarium; and a number of PhD students currently carrying out their research at Armagh Observatory, including Eliceth Rojas-Montes, who gave a key note speech on her astronomy research.
Each scientist was able to provide the students with an insight into their line of work, and similarly share their experiences and knowledge with the other scientists!
Juie Shetye, PhD student at Armagh Observatory, said she was delighted to be able learn about different areas of science from the other scientists and engineers.
And Ciara agreed.
“Each area of science is so niche that our areas of work are worlds apart,” she commented.
“It’s been an extremely enjoyable day celebrating the work of Women in STEM and being positive role models for young women considering a job in the STEM industries.”
For more information about this event please contact our PR team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For current STEM vacancies at Randox, please visit our Careers website.