Girls in STEM
Cheltenham Ladies' College pioneered science teaching for girls in the late 1800s, despite objections from many parents and members of the community that the subject was 'unladylike' and inappropriate. Since then, we have continued to be at the forefront of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opportunities for girls and young women, enabling them to pursue careers in a wide range of fields.
For over 160 years our Guild members across the world have made many outstanding contributions to STEM fields; from Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake, who became the first female Master of Surgery in 1895, to Dame Mary Archer DBE, leading scientist and Chair of the Science Museum Group.
Today, we continue to promote these opportunities for our girls and recent leavers. In 2015, we opened a new Engineering Enterprise and Technology (EET) Department, meaning that all girls in Lower College now study Engineering from the age of 11.
According to WISE, in 2016 only 25% of STEM graduates were women. At College, around a third of our girls go on to study STEM subjects at university each year.
In 2016, the three most popular STEM courses pursued by our leavers were Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and Engineering / Chemical Engineering. The three most popular university destinations for girls going on to study STEM subjects were Imperial College London, UCL and the University of Cambridge.
Below are just a few of the inspirational Guild members (in alphabetical order) who, over the last 160 years, have been leaders in STEM fields.
|Gwen Adshead||Leading Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, formerly at Broadmoor Hospital|
|Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake||First female Master of Surgery|
|Dame Indrid Allen||Leading scientist on MS|
|Dr Jasmin Ansar Sparks||Professor and climate change economist|
|Dame Mary Archer||Leading scientist and Chair of the Science Museum Group|
|Dr Diana Bates||Founder of the Wellspring Centre for psychotherapy|
|Dr Clara de Brereton-Evans||First woman to take a doctorate in Chemistry|
|Dr Elizabeth Cass||First female ophthalmologist in the Royal Army Medical Corps|
|Professor Clair Chilvers||Co-founder of Mental Health Research UK|
|Dr Joy Dauncey||Peter Debye Prize for outstanding contribution to Biomedicine|
|Dr Lillias Hamilton||Pioneering doctor in India and Afghanistan|
|Dr Helen Mackay||First female Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians|
|Dame Clare Marx CBE||First female President of the Royal College of Surgeons (2014-17). First woman Chair of the General Medical Council|
|Dr Alice McLaren||One of the first five women to undertake a postgraduate medical research degree|
|Dr Sallie Woodrow||Co-founder of the first birth control clinic in South Africa|
|Dr Helena Wright||Co-founder of the National Birth Control Council|
|Erica Charles||Founder of renewable energy company Spirit Solar|
|Angela Haygarth-Jackson||Pioneer and lecturer of information science|
|Antoinette Haysom||Code-breaker at Bletchley Park during WWII|
|Gladys Hill||Worked for MI5|
|Katy Winterbourn||Legal (white-hat) hacker / IT security professional|
|Susan M Auld||One of the first female naval architects|
|Dorothy Brown||Among the first female Members of Institute Civil Engineers|
|Annie Hall||First female member of the Society of Architects|
|Judith Ledeboer OBE||Architect and housing reformer|
|Belinda Swain||Chief Airworthiness Engineer at Rolls-Royce and WISE lifetime achievement winner|
|Karen Small||Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Flinders University, Australia|
|Emily So||Lecturer in Architecture and Civil Engineering at Cambridge University|
|Nicola Armacost||Managing Director at Arc Finance|
|Elisabeth Bassett||Former Partner and COO at KPMG|
|Arabella Di Iorio||Partner at Agon Litigation|
|Claire Griffiths||Investment Fund Manager and former head of Invesco|
|Rachel Lomax||First female Deputy Governor of the Bank of England (2003-08) and Deputy Chair of British Council|
|Antigone Loudiadis||Banker and Founder and CEO of Rothesay Life|
|Jane McCormick||Global Head of Tax at KPMG|
|Clare Spottiswoode CBE||First female head of a regulatory agency (Ofgas) (1993-98). Chairman of Xoserve|
|Lorna Tilbian||Chairman of Dowgate Capital UK|
|Jada Wattanasiritham||Banker and Director at The Siam Commercial Bank|