The notable part was that 30% of the drawings featured a female scientist! This result is great but there is still a long way to go, especially amongst the impressionable young minds of students, with respect to gender balance and women in STEM roles.
For example, one student had asked their teacher if they were “allowed to draw a female scientist” and when I walked into their school, another exclaimed, “She doesn’t look like a scientist!”
This is absolutely one of the reasons why I visit schools and enjoy doing science outreach to young people. I want to show them what a scientist can look like, and more importantly, I want to promote STEM education and show them that dreaming big can really open up a universe full of discovery.
We have made significant progress towards achieving gender equality, but there is still more we can do to overturn typical stereotypes and encourage everyone to pursue an interest in STEM. I believe a grassroots approach of “showing and telling” can win over many hearts and minds.
And we have it in our power and responsibility, to change the future.
Side note. Oddish is my favourite.