Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bjork, Female Pressure, STEM and Women Producers

Earlier this year when Bjork was interviewed by Pitchfork and continued her conversation about the way women are supposedly unable to engage with technology (in Bjork's case, music technology, but this is a general assumption apparently made by the majority of both men and women), this struck a chord with many female musicians, and quite a few male ones.
The site Female Pressure picked up on the flurry of discussion that was reactivated by Bjork's interview; Female Pressure researches and stores information about women producers worldwide, and provides a discussion platform of their activities.
Yesterday I went to a STEM talk about young women and mathematics by Dame Celia Hoyle, which showed how interest in pursuing the subject drops off as girls get older, and that there are still very few young women going into science and engineering.
There is a lot of activity to encourage girls to continue with maths and science subjects and there is a shortage of engineers in the UK that would be well served by more female graduates.
Under the radar, the whispers tell the true story, I think. A person at the meeting told of her daughter being the only female on an engineering course, and gradually being pressured to such an extent that she left. It was the constant assumption vocalised by her male peers that she was going to be someone's secretary rather than a qualified engineer in her own right. She couldn't stand it, and so she left; this is a 'now' story, not a story from the bad old days.
Something makes some young men feel that they have the right to bully female colleagues out of their working or studying environment when they are in the majority.
It may seem that I have chosen a one-off situation to talk about but during the interviews I've done with people over the past fifteen years, I've sometimes felt like weeping at the injustice and the hypocrisy I've heard of.
Anyway- all hail Female Pressure! I wrote something for their blog, which is the first time any of the research that I've been doing has appeared in print. I'm still doing two-hour stints almost every day and going to a talk about young women and maths has stimulated one of the areas that I'm writing about. It is an interesting and important issue. I hope we can change things for our daughters, and sons!

1 comment:

OHM'S LAW said...

The last Paragraph says something about Maths-i hated maths! & what job did i do: Electrical Engineering-full of numbers! (I'm a failure)