ScienceGrrl Strategy

Page 1


From the Director Sometimes an unexpected opportunity opens up before you, and you know you need to seize it while you can. In the wake of the Twitter storm surrounding the EC 'Science: It's a girl thing' video, I could sense the growing desire amongst female scientists to do something to recognise and celebrate what women are already doing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). That something began as the ScienceGrrl 2013 calendar, which showcases the work of a diverse mix of female scientists in a wide variety of fields, alongside their male colleagues. More than 50 people were involved in putting the gorgeous ScienceGrrl calendar together in just 4 months, co-ordinated by Producer Louise Crane. It is an immense achievement, of which we are justly proud. I've watched ScienceGrrl develop from a calendar production team to a network of likeminded 'mates on a mission', headed by a dedicated and gifted executive committee. I am genuinely excited about what lies ahead, principally because I intend to have a lot of fun with wonderful people as we work together in making a difference. Dr Heather Williams

Contents Introduction …………………………………………………………………………… 6 Vision/ Mission………………………………………………………………………... 9 Values.…………………………………………………………………………………. 10 What We Plan To Do………………………………………………………………… 12 Financial Report……………………………………………………………………… 18 Beyond 2014………………………………………………………………………….. 21

Introduction ScienceGrrl was formed in June 2012 as a response to the teaser video for the EU Campaign “Science: It’s a Girl Thing”. We, like many scientists, felt that this video fed off old-fashioned stereotypes of women, and missed an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary opportunities for women in STEM careers. We responded by creating a calendar to showcase the diversity and creativity of the female face of science. It was a great success, and over the course of the past eight months we have developed into a network of people passionate about helping girls and women engage with STEM and supporting them in having long, successful and fulfilling careers. We want our network to have an impact that extends beyond the proceeds of our calendar, and to be part of a systemic change within our field.

Purpose of the Strategy Our 2013 strategy builds on our progress to date and existing network, and sets out a vision for what ScienceGrrl could become. It details our mission, our values and what we plan to do in order to fund and achieve our goals. This strategy will evolve as we become more established, better understand our capacity, and the specific role we should play. We hope that it will inspire people to take action and to engage with us. Most of all, we hope that this strategy will set us on the best path to ensuring longevity and success for ScienceGrrl.

Consultation Process This strategy has emerged from an open dialogue with our wider network of supporters, a consultation process held over a period of three months. We had sixty-three responses to our survey and held two separate consultation workshops, one in London and the other in Manchester. We have also welcomed contributions via e-mail that have outlined people’s detailed thoughts for our future. The strategy will be presented, discussed and voted on at our first AGM on February 15th 2013.

“Female scientists can too often feel isolated and uncertain; it's great to see a group actively promoting real role models and offering support for those setting out on a STEM career.” Athene Donald

Vision A world where access to a fulfilling STEM career is decoupled from gender ScienceGrrl believes that science is for everyone. We want to see a world where STEM careers are attainable by all, regardless of gender. We want young women to aspire to careers in STEM, and be able to access opportunities which nurture a spark and passion for their subject that stays with them throughout their careers. We believe that a more diverse STEM workforce will lead to a more representative and creative workforce that is better able to respond to the challenges facing global society.

Mission To celebrate and promote STEM careers by building and strengthening a network of people who are passionate about passing on their love of STEM to the next generation. We will focus on addressing the barriers to our vision, with particular emphasis on addressing the under-representation of girls and women in STEM. We aim to promote role models, access to careers guidance and work experience, and to support female scientists at all stages of their careers.

Values ScienceGrrl is a grassroots organisation and as such has certain characteristics that set us apart. We have condensed these into a set of principles that articulate our core values as an organisation.

ScienceGrrl is Inclusive ScienceGrrl celebrates the diversity of our members and those we work with. Anyone who supports our vision and our values is welcome in ScienceGrrl.

ScienceGrrl is Positive ScienceGrrl recognises that many women face obstacles and challenges in pursuing STEM careers, but that taking a negative stance is not always helpful. ScienceGrrl chooses to focus instead on the considerable achievements of women in STEM and to encourage more of the same, whilst campaigning for conditions that make this more readily attainable. Our supporters work on a volunteer basis, and we want to encourage the enthusiasm that brought them to us in the first place.

ScienceGrrl Listens ScienceGrrl is a membership organisation that listens to what people have to say. We welcome criticism, engage in dialogue, admit when we have made mistakes or shown poor judgement, and adapt to the needs of our members and collaborators.

ScienceGrrl Collaborates

ScienceGrrl recognises that we are not the only organisation working towards the aim of improving the representation of women within STEM. We seek opportunities to collaborate with and strengthen the work of other organisations that share our aims and values.

“ScienceGrrl is playing a very valuable role in showcasing the many successful female scientists and engineers that we already have. My hope for ScienceGrrl is that it will play a large role in making itself unnecessary, but there is still a long way to go." Helen Czerski

What We Plan To Do A Network of People: Online and in Person ScienceGrrl's greatest asset is its people. We already have a large network (predominantly but not exclusively women) who seek to support each other in STEM careers. In the coming year, ScienceGrrl will strengthen our connections by setting up an online forum as part of our planned website redevelopment, where members can have open discussions in a safe setting, and establishing regional chapters which will enable members to access local peer support in an informal and relaxed environment. We have committed to a website redevelopment and establishing chapters in London and Manchester.

Collaboration ScienceGrrl has the opportunity to influence and inspire a wide variety of people. We believe our activities will be most productive if we foster collaboration and partnership with like-minded people. In 2013 we will focus on working with teachers/schools, policy makers, and existing networks that share our vision. We have agreed several pilot schemes/events and detail these below:


• Connect our network with FutureFirst, STEM Ambassadors, Inspiring the Future • Collaborate with now>press>play to create interactive science workshops • Conduct pilot projects in collaboration with schools in Leicester and London. • Create a work experience network • Calendars have been purchased for every school in Dundee, and will be donated to every secondary school in Belfast and Bolton. We intend to make several other such donations. • Fund a team of 6 (4 girls, 2 boys) students from Tower Hamlets to Mission Discovery 2013. “now>press>play are very excited to be collaborating with ScienceGrrl on a series of educational audio adventures. The level of expertise that this group offers is invaluable and their determination to get children excited about science makes them perfect partners for us at now>press>play.” Alice Lacey, now>press>play

Policy Makers 115 calendars have been donated for Chi Onwurah MP (Former Shadow Science Minister), to distribute to all schools in Newcastle and selected libraries and community centres. Chi is a vocal supporter of ScienceGrrl and assists us in making connections with other organisations supporting women in science. • Continuing discussions with Neil Sherlock (Cabinet Office) and Stephen Benn (Director of Parliamentary Affairs, Society of Biology) • Attending the ‘Advancing Women in Mathematics’ Parliamentary Reception, and discussing our future plans with Shabana Mahmood MP (Shadow Minister for Universities & Science). We hope to contribute to similar discussions during the course of the year. Connecting with Others •

• • •

Calendars have been donated to members of the Brixton Science Club and Physics Girlies, Liverpool, and ScienceGrrl has provided volunteers to assist these groups. Partnering with Girl Guiding UK and Imperial College London to offer a Science Girl Guide camp in summer 2013 for 30 girls aged 12-16, in Partnering with the Institute of Physics’ Women in Physics Group to organise informal undergraduate careers events and ‘communication skills for career progression’ training for female physicists.

“Who Made Your Pants? is all about empowering women. We *love* ScienceGrrl’s determination to show real women doing real science and are delighted to be working with them. We're excitedly planning right now and can't wait to roll out our together.” Becky John, Who Made Your Pants?

Visibility of Female Scientists • •

• •

Stage high profile events celebrating women in science, in collaboration with Brian Cox Provide spokespeople for media interviews on issues affecting women in science, and women to speak at and chair sessions at events celebrating science Work to increase the number of female scientific experts available to the media Mark notable dates, such as International Women's Day and Ada Lovelace Day, with events celebrating the achievements of female scientists Provide public speaking training to equip members for these opportunities, in collaboration with Gia Milinovich.

“I can’t talk highly enough of the vision and passion of the ScienceGrrl family. So determined in their drive to break down stereotypes and raise the profile of STEM subjects to the next generation of successful female role models – and rightly so!” Megan Clatworthy, Future First

“Like many of you, when I saw the video produced by the EU to promote science to girls I did not know whether to laugh or cry. It seemed designed to strengthen rather than attacking stereotypes. As an engineer for 23 years prior to entering parliament and before that as an engineering student in a mainly science based University (Imperial College), I am all too aware of the many barriers to girls taking up science and staying in science-based careers. I know from experience how isolated one can feel and how large a part cultural stereotypes and organisational indifference can play. That said the decision to go into Engineering was probably the best decision I have ever made. Science provides rewarding, satisfying, evolving and wideranging careers, which contribute so much to addressing the key challenges humanity now faces. It is wrong that girls should be excluded. I am so pleased that ScienceGrrl have decided to tackle this issue with energy, dynamism, commitment, intelligence, evidence and humour. I wish you all the best in your second year.” Chi Onwurah, MP

Funding Proceeds from the 2013 ScienceGrrl calendar and associated merchandise will support many of our activities. Moving forward, we plan to expand our merchandise and draw some funds from membership fees. We also plan to raise money through high-profile ticketed events and a charity auction. Funding for the above projects will be negotiated and approved by the committee on a case-by-case basis. Expenses will not be paid to members unless their attendance at an event is deemed essential and the cost of travel or loss of professional income would prevent their attendance.

Membership As a member of ScienceGrrl, you agree to our values and are endorsing our vision and mission. Members will have access to an online discussion forum, will receive monthly newsletters, be consulted on key strategic decisions, and entitled to vote at our AGMs.

Financial Report Income We have three main sources of income to date: donations made through our Sponsume appeal; sales of the ScienceGrrl Calendar 2013 and associated merchandise; and grants provided as start-up for the project. The income from Sponsume was paid into PayPal and transferred to our bank account. Most sales income came into PayPal, though some was paid directly into the bank account and a large proportion was cash sales. Grants were both paid directly into PayPal and then transferred, and paid directly into the account. At the present time we are awaiting payment of funds from three grants, ÂŁ500 from the Science Council, ÂŁ500 from Durham University, and ÂŁ500 from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Expenditure To date the main expenses have been incurred in producing the ScienceGrrl 2013 calendar and associated merchandise, and postage and packaging costs. Production costs include paying third party organisations and individuals for their services, purchase of stock and travel expenses incurred during shoots. Some expenditure was paid by individuals prior to the setting up of our bank account. These were reimbursed via receipt of cash sales and via bank transfer.

Proceeds Total proceeds from the ScienceGrrl Calendar 2013 project is therefore £5203.37 as at 9/2/2013 £2295 of this has been allocated to provide support to 6 students from Oaklands School, Tower Hamlets London attending Mission Discovery Summer School. This leaves £2908.37 to be allocated to other projects. We aim to spend all of the money that we have raised and will continue to fundraise to enable us to continue further work to fulfil ScienceGrrl’s aims and objectives.

“I'm very proud to have been a small part of ScienceGrrl. It's a great initiative, involving any passionate people who truly believe that science should be for EVERYONE - even us science boys!” James Logan

Figure 1: Total income to date (ÂŁ17,533.45).

Figure 2: Total expenditure to date (ÂŁ12,330.08)

Beyond 2013/14 This year will be formative for ScienceGrrl, we expect to evolve, find new opportunities and refine our vision and mission. We want to listen to what people expect from us, identify areas of unmet need, and adapt accordingly. We expect that our 2014 AGM will be a time to take stock and reflect on the direction we should take. We will be in a better position to lay out a more detailed and long-term vision, mission, organisational structure and strategy for ScienceGrrl. We hope you will continue to travel with us into 2014 and beyond! “Never underestimate the power of a role model because you can never aspire to be what you have never seen. It's so important that women in Science, Engineering and Technology do more than talk and get out and help raise the aspirations of young girls and teenagers. Many young people have no idea just how brilliant they could be.” Maggie Philbin

What you said about ScienceGrrl…

“Don’t lose your informal ‘club’ feel, although I appreciate you need to be serious sometimes” “It's the first time I've seen a grassroots level organization active in this field”

“ScienceGrrl brings together like minded people irrespective of backgrounds”

“You make science look fun” ScienceGrrl can potentially improve the next generation’s opinions of STEM as it is an organisation without masses of rules

“Best thing is that it embraces all women/girls in science, and encourages others to think about inspirational female scientists”

“You engage everyone on an equal basis” “You appear to be reaching new people”

“ScienceGrrl is approachable, friendly, fun and positive”

“ScienceGrrls are great because they are real working scientists”


Contact Us @science_grrl

Printed with thanks to

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.