From Marie Curie to Rosalind Franklin, women have played an instrumental role in science and have not only helped to develop but have defined the world that we live in today.
Behind this fact, however, lies a disturbing reality – through age-old biases and gender stereotypes, women and girls are still being guided away from studying and working in STEM fields.
According to UNESCO data [2014-2016], a mere 30% of all female students study STEM-related subjects in higher education. Meanwhile, less than 30% of all scientific researchers worldwide are women.
These numbers speak for themselves.
As ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Team Principal, Susie Wolff is used to breaking the mould and since 2016, it has been her mission to inspire women and girls to dare to be different.
In 2014, Susie became the first woman in 22 years to take part in a Formula 1 race weekend. In 2018, she became the first-ever female Team Principal in Formula E.
As we celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Susie reiterated the need to break down gender barriers and the importance of proactivity when improving diversity in the workplace.
“I believe that it’s hugely important to have a diverse workplace,” she said. “It’s something that I’m passionate about and something I’m very keen on improving.
“I’ve always thought that you need to see it, to believe it. It’s important to have a role model.
“Society has a preconception that motorsport is a male-orientated industry but I believe that’s a misconception and it shouldn’t be the case.
“ROKiT Venturi Racing is the most gender diverse team on the Formula E grid and one-third of our workforce is female. In this team we don’t just talk it, we do it.
“There are so many opportunities for women out there to get involved but it’s vital that we’re relentlessly proactive in promoting that fact.”
Susie explained that without proactivity, little will change but by employing a driven and bold approach, workplaces can be reshaped for the better.
“If nobody does anything or if no one takes action, nothing will change,” she continued. “But if we’re conscious of and act upon biases, we can bring about change.
“One of the difficulties around biases is that it’s difficult for individuals to be conscious of them – your subconscious can sometimes step in and you can easily be drawn to people just like yourself.
“In life, it’s important that we open every opportunity up to a wider group of people and it’s vital that we provide an equal opportunity to those who are underrepresented.
“When I launched Dare To Be Different, it was my aim to inspire women and girls to take up careers in motorsport and other STEM disciplines.
“If we’re able to increase diversity in STEM fields, we can change the view of how women are perceived in male-dominated industries and therefore, encourage them for the future.”
As our Official Technical Partner, Hewlett Packard Enterprise shares this belief of unconditional equality and diversity and is devoted to creating an inclusive culture in the workplace.
Recently recognized among the top companies on the 2021 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, HPE values and takes pride in gender equality, something that Jennifer Temple, Chief Communications Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, explains.
“As a global technology company, we understand building a diverse and unconditionally inclusive culture is vital to driving innovation and are committed to fostering a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable future for all,” she said.
“This includes supporting workforce and skills development for future generations and bringing girls into science and technology fields.
“None of our successes as a company would be possible without our dedicated and passionate team members who bring differing perspectives, ideas, and experiences that benefit our customers – and our company.”