Last month I went to see Hidden Figures at the cinema with my mum and my sister. It’s a film about equality in stereotypically male-dominated careers (like science, technology, engineering and maths), and I LOVED IT. A LOT.
The film comes at an appropriate time, especially for the Untied States as they adjust to life with a new president. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, over 4.5 million people took part in an international women’s march. The film reminds us how we got to where we are and how much progress to equality we have already made, however it also shows us how hard it was to show the world that we are all as good as each other.
About 95% of my favourite fictional characters are strong and independent females, such as River Song from Doctor Who (pictured below holding a sontaran-style machine gun), and the women of The Big Bang Theory like Amy (also pictured below in all her Nerdy glory) and Bernadette who are some of the few female scientists portrayed on TV. The media is now a lot more supportive with regards to gender equality than they ever have been before. And that’s GOOD!
Last month (08/03) also marked International Women’s Day, a day in which people stop and look at how much the roles of women have changed in the last hundred years (and how stupid gender inequality used to be; and still can be).
As I have already mentioned, employment is becoming more equal everyday, and the best way to make everyone aware of this is to promote it! On the 15th and 16th of March this year I was lucky enough to attend The Big Bang Fair national final, which is the biggest fair/competition for young scientists in the UK. After winning my local regional branch of the fair last summer, two of my friends and I were given the opportunity to showcase our project to respected scientists, huge international companies and thousands of visitors from all over the nation. As part of this, we were able to talk to leading companies in their field about future opportunities, and for once a group of teenage girls were being encouraged to pursue careers in science, and it was an amazing experience.
The world still isn’t perfect, and I’m sure it will be a long time before it is, but for now things are getting better, and the amount of racial and sexual equality is increasing at a higher rate than ever. There will always be prejudice and stereotypes, but hopefully children in five years time will see female mechanics and builders as something completely normal.
“Women do things at NASA and it’s not because we wear skirts, it’s because we wear glasses” – Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures)