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By Charlie Hill and Corporate Partners on

International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Future Leaders

The Science Museum Group’s mission to Inspire Futures drives our work to ignite curiosity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and this involves working to break down the barriers that make access to science unequal in society.

Women and girls are underrepresented in STEM. Only 27% of graduates with STEM degrees are women and the empowerment of women and girls in the scientific community is essential. Women account for a significantly smaller percentage of professionals in many fields: while 21% of engineering graduates in the UK are women, they make up only 12% of the engineering workforce.  

To mark the 9th annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are celebrating the STEM leaders of the future by spotlighting some of the emerging talent among our corporate partner network



Caitlin, a Shift Operator, is following a four-year apprenticeship in the civil nuclear sector.

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?

I was inspired to choose a STEM career because of the opportunities and the speed at which science and technology is developing.  

Engineering and technology teach you valuable skills like problem-solving, research methods and mathematics which are all in high demand. If it wasn’t for pursuing STEM I wouldn’t have a Level 4 HNC in engineering, an NVQ Level 3 in operations and maintenance, and a level 3 diploma in advanced engineering manufacturing.  

What do you enjoy about your current role? 

I enjoy training in new areas, developing my knowledge to help solve complex problems. I enjoy the hands-on experience. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  

I am ambitious and I want to apply my skills to innovate production. I see myself continuing to work hard and progressing as an operator. I hope that in 10 years’ time I will have acquired the necessary skills to be an even greater asset.  

Discover more about how early career colleagues work towards technical and professional qualifications at Urenco 


Jieying and Maria

Maria and Jieying, recent graduate students working in the Engineering Development Group (EDG).

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM? 

Jieying: Since childhood, I have been interested in creating and composing things, spending countless hours on jigsaw puzzles and LEGO blocks. This interest led me to pursue a degree in Engineering, where I got the chance to explore the world of Signal Processing and Programming.  

I enjoy leveraging the power of a modern computer to analyse the world around us and facilitate engineering prototyping. I decided to join the EDG at MathWorks after graduation, so I can continue to apply my passion and talent in this field to software development as well as supporting engineers with their work. 

What do you enjoy about your current role? 

Maria: There are many things I enjoy in my current role. I find a big satisfaction in developing tools that have the potential to revolutionize the engineering world. The opportunity to contribute within MathWorks’ innovative, inclusive, and motivating culture is precisely what I’ve always aspired to. Yet, out of all these exciting aspects of my job, the standout feature is the diversity and variability of my daily tasks. This is what keeps my days extremely stimulating and engaging. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  

Maria: In ten years, my goal is to continue my journey as an engineer, having hopefully inspired other women to explore STEM fields. I aim to have gained knowledge, while maintaining a position that allows me to keep on learning, given the vast learning opportunities and fields in engineering. 

Jieying: In ten years, I would like to have deep expertise in my field, become a person who passes on the knowledge and experience to the junior woman engineers who stand where I once did, and help them thrive in their careers. 

Find out more about the EDG Progamme and Internships at MathWorks. 


Martha, Kaitlyn and Bella

Martha, Kaitlyn and Bella are STEM apprentices at one of Kimberly-Clark UK’s manufacturing facilities in Cumbria, which produces Andrex toilet rolls and Kleenex facial tissues. Martha and Kaitlyn won first prize in the Engineering Category at the Grand Final of their apprentice projects during National Apprentice Week in 2023. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM? 

Martha, Kaitlyn and Bella were inspired to pursue a career in STEM by the women in their family who were also in electrical or engineering fields; by their school experience where they enjoyed doing practical work and studying different types of engineering at GCSE; or by other women in trade who exposed them to various STEM careers.  

What do you enjoy about your current role? 

As second year electrical apprentices, they enjoy working in a team environment, where they can learn from each other and their supervisors. They also like the variety and challenges of their jobs which includes dealing with different issues and machines every day.  

Outside of Kimberly-Clark, they like to challenge the stereotypes and expectations that people have about women in engineering.  

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Martha, Kaitlyn and Bella would like to develop their careers and skills as engineers at Kimberly-Clark. They also would like to explore the possibility of studying for a degree or working on different projects in the engineering industry.  

Check out Kimberly-Clark’s career pages for more information: Careers at Kimberly-Clark. 



Lucy Hoskins, PS Marketing Placement Student.

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM? 

Growing up in a technology driven world, I have taken an interest in how it has changed and advanced. I am passionate in understanding how technology has helped businesses grow and adapt to consumer needs. I am inspired to progress in the tech industry to gain more insights in new and creative innovation such as AI. 

What do you enjoy about your current role? 

I currently work for HP within the marketing team, and I work alongside different departments within the company. The opportunities I have had throughout this role have been endless and I am happy to be able to work with other team members within gaming and e-commerce. I enjoy being able to connect with a variety of people and work with them to solve problems and produce fun, new ideas. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

This is a tricky question to answer as my mind is constantly changing. In 10 years, I see myself moving to a new country and having a job with the ability to travel. This would give me more experience of different cultures and how different countries operate – preferably it would be somewhere in the sun! 



Mia Papier-Bantick, 4th year Clinical Support Apprentice.

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?  

I have always had a curiosity for understanding how the world works. Pursuing a career in STEM offered me the opportunity to both explore and contribute to advancements in science and technology. It also gives me a way to contribute to society and address global challenges through healthcare and technology. I was inspired by the opportunity to be part of something bigger that could potentially shape the future. 

What do you enjoy about your current role?  

I am currently on an apprenticeship within clinical operations at GSK, with a focus on project management. I really enjoy the variety of tasks I am able to get involved in as the role requires a diverse set of skills from communication, planning and risk management. This variety keeps the role interesting and dynamic which is something I have found keeps me busy and engaged. I also enjoy the problem-solving aspect that comes with project management as it encourages creative thinking as an approach to complex situations. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  

Right now, I really don’t know! For the time being, I would like to keep exploring opportunities within clinical operations to continue to learn and grow in this space but if a different opportunity presents itself, never say never. The skills that I have gained from my career in STEM so far could be used in many different industries which allows me to explore all kinds of careers. 



Nuha, a Renewable Energy graduate, currently working in the Offshore Wind sector and soon to head out on a Service Operation Vessel in the North Sea.

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM? 

My passion for mathematics and fascination with Earth’s landscapes and geography led me to Geology. It perfectly blends the sciences with aspects of Geography I love. I studied it at UCL, including a study year at the University of Toronto. It was my concern about climate change that drew me towards exploring past climates and geological solutions to environmental issues. 

What do you enjoy about your current role? 

I enjoy the diversity of my experience within the role: my current rotation is within business development. Every day is different, therefore there are always a new set of challenges and learning opportunities. I also enjoy that it is an emerging industry, therefore there are many hurdles to overcome, which keeps it interesting. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Looking ahead, I do see myself possibly delving into hydrogen solutions.  

A PhD might be on the horizon, focusing on sea ice decline, a subject close to my Master’s project, exploring the discrepancies between model simulations and observations. 

Find out more information on careers at Equinor.


Maryam Awan, Software Developer Apprentice, and Cleo Parker, Graduate Process Engineer.










What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM? 

Cleo: Growing up, I loved problem solving and the thought of having a career where I could make a difference. The STEM field is such an exciting place to be, constantly innovating and evolving to meet the future needs of people and our planet – I pinch myself every day that I get to be a part of that! 

Maryam: My journey into STEM was sparked by a love for learning, and a passion for programming in particular, as I’ve always loved problem solving. I’ve witnessed first-hand the limited female representation in STEM, such as being one of only three girls in class. These experiences have not only motivated me to succeed in my own career, but also inspire me to support other women in pursuing STEM careers. 

What do you enjoy about your current role? 

Cleo: I love the variety of experiences I get as a process engineer. Every day I’m working on something new, seeing something I’ve never seen before and constantly learning more about our energy system!   

Maryam: I find applying my skills to create a usable product for stakeholders incredibly rewarding. As an early careers professional, I benefit from various exciting opportunities, and I’m fortunate to be surrounded by experts who provide valuable mentorship as I launch my career. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Cleo: Over the next 10 years I’m hoping to work my way up to a position where I can be at the forefront of driving the energy transition. I’m hoping to experience the industry from a variety of viewpoints with some of my key ambitions being to attend a COP, work internationally and complete my chartership with the IChemE.  

Maryam: I want to keep taking opportunities and contributing to innovative projects within the company, whilst also breaking gender barriers in the field. By actively showcasing the capabilities of women in STEM, I hope to inspire others and contribute towards a more inclusive environment.    

If you share the Science Museum Group’s mission and would like to talk to us about how we could work together, please contact Charlie Hill.