Today we’re sharing STEM Insights from Dr Kami Vaniea, Lecturer in Cyber Security at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
Q1. Why do think getting more girls into STEM subjects is important?
Diversity of thinking is very important in STEM areas. To create products that can be truly used by everyone we need everyone to be part of the design process. If any one group is missing, be that men, women, disabled people, or even older people, then that diversity of thinking is also missing.
Q2. With a magic wand and no barriers, what initiative or step-change would you introduce to get more girls into STEM?
Teach their parents that a skilled person in STEM makes as much money as a Doctor or Lawyer but spends less time at school.
Q3. When or what made you realise that STEM subjects weren’t just for boys?
I don’t think anyone told me that STEM subjects were just for boys, at least not till I was older. I am from a farming type community where it was very normal for girls to learn to help out with technical problems. There were typically less girls in my STEM classes, but it was very rare that I was the only girl.
Q4. Within the STEM field, who inspired you most to follow your career path?
I honestly have no good answer for this question…
Q5. Writing back to your old self at the age of 14, picking your all-important exam subjects, what would you say to yourself with hindsight?
As an American I never had to select exam subjects 🙂 Americans typically make the choice of what subject to take about the time they go to University, but even then it is much easier to switch subjects after starting University.