CodiKoat’s Women In Science
In continuation of our celebration of the women driving CodiKoat forward, we’re focusing on their scientific journeys and inspirations, as well as the role that women play in STEM industries.
The scientific progress we have made at CodiKoat is in a large part due to the multidisciplinary expertise and variety of perspectives that all of our colleagues bring with them. Diversity of opinion and knowledge enables discovery and allows problems to be solved in new and unique ways.
Masoomeh Bazzar, Senior Polymer Chemist, grew up dreaming of a career in science and believes that given the right opportunities, women can drive innovation to new heights:
“I’ve loved science since my childhood and always wanted to use that passion to make the world safer. Practically, working in STEM roles doesn’t depend on gender, it’s about experience, talent and interests. The problem is opportunity - or a lack of it - for women and making sure we can contribute at a high level. Having talented women in STEM roles will increase the quality of technology and innovations - we just need to be there in the first place.
Women In STEM
Historically, women have been underrepresented in pursuing STEM subjects as a career. In the UK, just 35% of students studying STEM subjects are female, while women make up just 26% of those graduating in STEM. In the STEM workforce, women make up less than a quarter - just 24% of total roles (STEM Women).
For Microbiologist Robyn Jerdan, restricting female perspectives in STEM subjects is slowing down technical innovation: “Science and other STEM subjects are a balance of creativity, methodical thinking, organisation and intuition and to exclude half of the earth's population because of gender seriously hinders the progression that can be made. These are subjects that have a major impact on the development of technology and health and women look at these problems with a different perspective.”
While there are a number of initiatives in the UK and globally promoting opportunities for women in STEM, it’s clear that more needs to be done.
CodiKoat Virologist Cigdem Williams believes that visible role models and valuing a work and life balance is crucial for encouraging more women into the field: “By having more women in STEM roles, we can show new generations that it is not an impossible task to do what you love and are passionate about, and still have a life of your own. Ultimately, any two people performing the same role at the same quality should be treated in the same way, and that’s what people are fighting for.”
Project Manager Maryam Arjangfar agrees: “More women in STEM roles can close the current gender gap that is in place. More females succeeding in these subjects will help create role models for younger girls, empowering them to do the same and pursue a career in the related fields.”
Driving Positive Change
As a science-driven business, CodiKoat recognises and welcomes our responsibility to provide and promote equal opportunities, a sentiment echoed by Melissa Monzerrat Rodriguez Garcia, Materials Scientist: “Companies like CodiKoat have an important role to play to close the gender gap, with around 50% of women working in the company. More businesses having gender equilibrium in their roles, particularly senior roles, will have a knock-on effect to encourage more girls to get degrees in STEM subjects.”
We want to continue to encourage young women in particular into pursuing careers in STEM and provide ample opportunity for them to do so. Recent work experience placements, created specifically for young female students, have proved enlightening and successful.
One of the students, Eliza Beresford, shadowed our research team: “As an A level student studying maths and science at an all girls school, I’ve been encouraged to consider a career in science. Getting a chance to have work experience with CodiKoat and seeing first hand what working on an innovative technology in science is like was invaluable.”
For CodiKoat Office Manager Clare Osborne, there is more to working in STEM than just science: “You don’t have to be a scientist to work in science. My valued, varied and important contribution supports the Science team extensively and allows them to focus on doing what they do best, at the same time as allowing me to do what I do best and ultimately thoroughly enjoy.”
CodiKoat Chair Sarah Howard MBE is keen to stress that this is just the start for empowering women in STEM roles: “As an early stage business, CodiKoat have done things the right way by employing the best talent to achieve our goals, regardless of gender.
Now as we grow, we have the opportunity to create a pathway for young women to reach their dreams in a STEM career. As a business, we will continue to celebrate the outstanding women of CodiKoat and their invaluable contributions beyond one single day of the year.”
This article is part two of a series celebrating the women at CodiKoat and the journeys that brought them to us. Read part one here: Celebrating The Women Driving CodiKoat Forward