In 2019, only 23% of Physics A-levels were taken by girls. This is compared to 54% in Chemistry and 63% in Biology. In 2017/18, women accounted for just 20.1% of students starting full-time physics undergraduate degrees in Welsh universities.
It is a long-standing and well-known problem that Physics is an academic and career path which excludes certain groups and communities through its practices. Since 2018, the Physics Mentoring Project has aimed to increase the number of girls taking physics A-levels. Mentoring is a relationship-based approach. Mentors and mentees are encouraged in their first mentoring session, entitled “My Physics Journey”, to get to know one another. This way, they can respect the experiences, values and journeys that make each of them who they are and have brought them to where they find themselves.
For International Women’s Day 2021, we recognised the importance of the women who have supported our journeys. We asked the mentors and staff working on the Physics Mentoring Project to tell us about women who have inspired or supported them to where they are now. Here are #TheWomenWhoGuideUs for #IWD2021.
You can view the #TheWomenWhoGuideUs thread on Twitter. Many thanks to mentors Georgie, Hanna, Callum, Mike from Creo Skills, Chris North and Grace Mullally for supporting this campaign.