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More girls taking science in schools

Kayley Thomas

BBC Radio Wales

22 October 2014

PA’s Dr Carys Lloyd, a physics and technology expert, is interviewed on BBC Radio Wales to discuss the increase in the number of girls taking science in schools.

Carys discusses the encouraging news of more girls taking up and excelling in science at school: “This is brilliant news because there are so many career opportunities for physicists, chemists and biologists. We need more scientists and engineers to grow the economy in Wales and the UK, so this is great news for the future.”

Carys goes on to explain that she is seeing a gradual shift in more women coming up through the ranks: “Biologists and chemists have always been quite equal between the sexes, however physicists have always hovered around the 20% mark, but is gradually improving over the years. There’s still a long way to go to get parity.”

Discussing the perception in schools and whether teachers are taking a less gendered approach when it comes to guiding pupils towards subjects, Carys says: “In recent years there has been an emphasis on making sure all pupils understand the opportunities that are behind science so that they can see all of the different types of careers available for them.”

Carys goes on to explain that at school she was fortunate enough to be pushed to excel in all areas and was particularly interested in science. She said that it wasn't the case in all schools as some of her friends were told that science isn't for them because they are girls.

Carys comments on the different perspective women bring to science: “Science is about improving our world and making improvements in our lives, making them longer and healthier. Therefore, in order to have the best answers you have to look at getting opinions from all portions of society and as 50% of the population is female, it’s vital to include women when making decisions to drive new developments.”

The interview concludes with Carys being asked if clients are surprised to see a successful female scientist in front of them at business meetings: “Most of our clients are invariably male and if you walk into the room as a 30 year old woman, clients can be taken aback. Some clients are intrigued and ask questions such as ‘how many female physicists are there?’ I think it does set a different tone to meetings sometimes.”

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