Call For Women To Continue Science Studies And Science Careers To Benefit Society
More women from India should be encouraged to study and continue in exciting career opportunities for science graduates as the country works to become the sixth largest scientific power-house in the world, says Dr Maree Skillen, Program Manager – Science at UTS:INSEARCH.
“I invite young women to consider how they can make a difference to the world by studying science and encourage them to pursue a career in science in the long term,” she said.
Dr Skillen, from UTS:INSEARCH, the pathway to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia, is visiting India to highlight the benefits of careers in science, and encourage young women to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) where job opportunities are expected to grow.
“Graduates in engineering and IT are already in high demand, but Indian students and women in particular, can also contribute to creating a better future for India and people all around the world through science,” Dr Skillen said.
“Globally, there are struggles to attract enough women into physics, maths and some sciences, and I encourage improvements to bridge gender equity and equality in STEM to attract and retain more women in these areas,” she said.
“With issues such as energy, water, food production, healthcare, waste management, computing and communications concerns in countries with large and growing populations, such as India, we all look to scientists to help find the answers.”
“Research shows that the top three reasons people take up careers in science revolve around helping the world solve challenging problems: protecting the environment; improving society and pursuing an area they are passionate about,” she said.
“I’m passionate about mathematics and science, and can assure students that there are many interesting jobs that can come from having deep knowledge and skills in these areas.”
Dr Skillen has a distinguished career in mathematics, science and technology education with leading Sydney high schools and has lectured at UTS. Most recently, she implemented major changes to the Science curriculum at UTS:INSEARCH, resulting in a 58 percent growth in student numbers in the science course, including 97% more women choosing to enrol in the program.
“As a teacher, I have seen firsthand the positive change that having visible female role models makes in encouraging girls to study mathematics, physics and other sciences,” she said. “I want young women to know that it is exciting to work in science, and it is a career that draws on your intelligence, curiosity, creativity and practicality to solve problems.”
“The skills gained in studying science, such as analysis, critical thinking, communication and project management will ensure Indian science graduates are well regarded by employers throughout their careers, whether seeking a role in research, government, education, business or creating entrepreneurial endeavours,” said Dr Skillen.
“I’m also committed to making mathematics and science interesting, accessible and topical for students through applying digital technologies to learning in the classroom,” she said.
Many Indian students choose to enroll in pathway college UTS:INSEARCH in Sydney to commence their studies, before entering the second year of university at UTS.
With around 40 per cent of India’s science graduates working internationally, Dr Skillen recommends that students consider preparing for an international career by becoming a higher education, undergraduate or postgraduate student in Australia. “The University of Technology Sydney is a very desirable destination for students to gain a quality, international education, while studying in a safe, entrepreneurial and enjoyable city,” she said.
The University of Technology Sydney is ranked as the 28th most international university globally, and offers state-of-the art facilities including a new ‘Superlab’ which can accommodate 220 students from different science disciplines simultaneously, preparing science students for future work and research roles.
“I encourage teachers, parents, employers, governments and the community to encourage and support women to study science in all its forms, so they can sustain exciting and purposeful careers,” she concluded.
Following her visit to India, Dr Skillen will visit Leshan, China to present her research at the 2015 Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics on how mobile technologies are transforming mathematics education.