On 6th October 2021, Girls’ Day in Science was celebrated across Denmark. Girls’ Day in Science is a nationwide campaign to celebrate girls in science and encourage more to join. The day is aimed towards girls in school and high school. A wide variety of events are held around the country, and they are all hosted on the common goal of wanting to spark an interest in the girls for science. At the events, the girls get to meet girls already in science so they can hear first-hand how interesting science really is!
To mark Girls’ Day in Science an event was hosted at Denmark’s Technical University (DTU) as well. The event was organized by DTU in collaboration with Naturvidenskabernes Hus. The event was arranged for 200 girls who are currently studying science subjects in high school in the Zealand region. The event ran for an entire day, and it started off with a welcome to DTU. That followed with a science show done by the DTU ScienceShow Team. After the science show, 4 DTU students were invited for a roundtable discussion.
I feel absolutely honoured to be invited to be a part of the roundtable discussion. The moderator was Jonas Rygaard, and the participants were Freja, Linde, Malthe and me (Neha). Freja runs a forum with her fellow friends called ‘DTU Feminist Forum’, which is all about creating a safe space where students can voice their thoughts and any problems about being a student at DTU. They hope to contribute to increasing gender equality at DTU through campaigns, external presentations and experience sharing (you can read more the forum here: https://www.facebook.com/people/DTU-Feministisk-Forum/100072270863514/). Linde is currently a PhD student at the Department of Electrical Engineering where she is conducting research within the area of Energy Analytics and Markets. Malthe is currently pursuing a BSc. environmental engineering and he was a part of the discussion to give an insight into how it is being a
feminist guy at DTU. I was selected to participate due to my interests in gender equality in STEM and the work I do through Nordic Women in STEM. We at Nordic Women in STEM believe more girls in STEM is essential. In that regards, we have recently started a Girls STEM Club, the aim of this club is to give girls between the ages of 13-19 the chance to try STEM concepts on a monthly basis. The sole purpose of Nordic Women in STEM is to provide girls with role-models who they can relate too, and hopefully want to be like. Therefore, it was a great honor to represent Nordic Women in STEM at an event which had the same intentions as what we work for.
The discussion started off with all of us being given the chance to introduce ourselves followed by some questions asked by Jonas regarding how it is to be a student at DTU. The goal of the questions asked was so the girls can get an insight of how it is to be at DTU. I especially enjoyed how simple and honest the conversation was. All the questions were personalised for the 4 of us, which gave the girls an insight into our different experiences. A bit of the talk can be seen below:
After the roundtable discussion, the girls were given the chance to join the many different workshops hosted by the different departments at DTU. In total there were 11 workshops ranging from how biosensors can improve the treatment of cancer and epilepsy to the future problems can be solved with the use of mathematics and technology.
Lastly, I would just like to thank the organisers of the event for focusing on such an important issue. It’s been known for a long time that girls are missing in STEM, but now it is great to see actions being taken to improve the situation. DTU has long been working towards this issue, and kudos for them for doing so! In relation to increasing girls’ interest in STEM DTU also hosts many other events targeted towards girls especially in high school. We all hope for a change, and we must believe that it will take time, but I know we can get to a time where the gender gap in STEM will be a thing of the past!