If you’re thinking about coming to Manchester for a science course and are keen to promote women and minorities in what is often a male-dominated area, then Manchester really is the place for you! The University is renowned for promoting equality among research staff and students and has been the recipient of the Athena Swan Silver award because of its contributions to the cause. If you’re looking for an inspiring role model who better than our Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell who runs not only a successful research lab but also the entire University!
“If you love science, learning new things and meeting new people then Manchester certainly has lots to offer you”
How to inspire the next generation of female scientists is an ongoing issue in STEM subjects and something that as a PhD student I have become passionate about. There are a number of groups and initiatives in Manchester which are fantastic at doing just this and, if you choose to get involved, will provide you with a broad network of like-minded women outside of the University.
Science Grrl(www.sciencegrrl.co.uk, @Science_Grrl) is a nationwide organisation which has an active branch in Manchester. They are keen to promote Women in all branches of science and provide a network of support to their members. Members are also given the opportunity to volunteer at their events, many of which are geared towards GSCE and A level students to show them what scientists really do and encourage them to continue their studies in science.
Angie Chan, manchestergirlgeeks.com
If you’re more up for meeting a network of like-minded women (men also welcome!) from the technology and science sectors and having fun along the way then definitely get involved with Manchester Girl Geeks (manchestergirlgeeks.com). They are a predominantly tech-based group (though as a biochemist I have always been welcomed and never felt out of place!) who hold regular socials and meet ups where an activity is organised. It’s a great way to meet new people and find out about new areas of technology!
At their most recent event in January they held a ‘How to Blog’ event which I was invited to speak at, and was a great way to pass on my knowledge of blogging to those who were just starting out and were keen to know more. I came away from the event with a whole host of new ideas and contacts!
Their February meet up is a geek jewellery making event where we will be able to get our hands on a laser cutting machine to craft our own pieces! Past events have included trips to the adult ball pool during Manchester Science Festival, Show and Tell events where members speak about something which interests them, as well as lots of hands on workshops.
If you love science, learning new things and meeting new people then Manchester certainly has lots to offer you and I would definitely recommend getting involved with both of these groups!