International Women's Day 2022 - #BreakTheBias

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality and this international women's day we are being asked to #BreakTheBias!

It's been identified many times that the space sector lacks a level of diversity with only 29% of the space workforce identifying as female, and only 16% of senior positions being held by women in the industry.

Last year, we took a look at our own data of women in the Space sector and concluded that there is a systemic issue with education. Women make up only 35% of graduates from STEM programmes Worldwide according to a UN report. The research all points to a lack of mentors and female leaders in the space sector so this article sets out some incredible resources for women looking to pursue a STEM or Space career.

"Before men and women, we are human beings. That is common sense. If you want to do something, go for it!" Chiaki Mukai - First Japanese woman in space

Five small ways you can help change the narrative

  • Raise awareness among children, educators and parents to reject gender bias – anyone can work in the space sector.
  • Challenge outdated perceptions.
  • Listen to women’s expertise and have confidence in their research.
  • Mentor women and girls in science and technology, encourage them to aim high.
  • Celebrate the historical achievements of women in the space sector.
  • Share stories of women at the forefront of the space industry.

In recent episodes of our podcast, Origin Stories, we gained insight from three fantastic women at the forefront of the industry:

Mel Stricklan - The founder of Slingshot Aerospace and One of America's top 100 Female Founders

"We don't need people that think like us, right? We don't need people that come from the same background as all of us. We need that diversity around the table, and we need people that are able to rise to the occasion and bring us to our full potential as individuals and as a team."

Listen Here

Megan Kane - A dream to become a farmer but not on earth, working on a number of NASA projects she shares her mission to get to Mars

"I bet you didn't know that video game experience comes in really handy when going into the space sector - it's a valuable skill set"

Listen Here

Carol Craig - One of the first women to lead a space business to go public and one of the first women to fly combat in the US Navy before turning into an inspirational 'astropreneur'

"Initiative will set you apart in the space sector. You don't have to have a college degree to get you in the door - you just need other key attributes"

Listen Here

Key resources to support women in STEM and Women in Space

  • The WISE campaign - For gender balance in STEM, from the classroom to the boardroom.
  • STEMettes - Showing the next generation that girls do Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) at their free, fun, food-filled experiences.
  • Women's Engineering Society - A network of female engineers, technologists and scientists offering both support and professional development opportunities. 
  • Women in Technology - An information resource aimed to promote female employment within IT and  technology. 
  • ScienceGrrl - A grassroots network who are passionate about celebrating women in science and passing on our love of science to the next generation.
ScienceGrrl - celebrating women in science
  • CodeFirst:Girls - Code First Girls are dedicated to transforming tech by providing the skills, space and     inspiration for women to become kick-ass developers and future leaders.
  • Sparxx - As a socially focused learning technology company, Sparx has been reimagining the way maths is     taught and learnt in schools since 2010.
  • BCSWomen - A specialist group aligned to the Chartered Institute for IT, providing a networking platform     for professional women in IT.
  • STEM Women - A blog which aims to promote careers for women in STEM whilst highlighting issues of gender     inequality.
  •  STEMinist - Featuring case studies of women within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.