Julia Stevrell is studying her first year of the master's programme Industrial Ecology. She is involved in Chalmers Chemistry and Biotechnology Section's equality committee and has been a driving force in the recruitment of new students.
”Girls have such incredible skills, it is reflected in their school results. The big question mark is why so few are studying at technical education. I think it's the lack of female role models”, she says.
For her, it is important to get involved so that the industry she will later work in can become more creative and dynamic in the long run.
”If only a small group of people develop technology, it will be impossible to reflect different perspectives and the so many different types of people in our society.”
She had a female role model that became crucial for choosing Chalmers after high school.
”I had a great teacher who had worked in the chemical industry before. She told me about her experiences of being one of few women in the industry and how important it was that we were more girls in this field”.
Became a mentor
Ellen Andreasson is studying her final year of the master's programme in Biotechnology and has been a mentor in an initiative called Pepp, where she encouraged young girls to go into the tech field. In addition, she has also volunteered for Engineers Without Borders.
”For me, it is important to help others and feel that you can make a difference. It gives me so much energy in return”, she says.
From the beginning, she was considering becoming a doctor but then realized that Biotechnology felt more right for her.
”No one expected that I would study at Chalmers, which is why I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try to become an engineer.”
She had no female role models when she gained an interest in technology and wanted to pursue an education in the field.
”That's why I thought it was so important to get involved in Pepp. I did not know any girls who had studied at Chalmers or had a similar background. I wish this had existed when I was feeling a bit lost in high school.”
Technology is everywhere
There is a misconception among young girls today that you should be a person who sits inside and codes all day if you want to work with technology, says Ellen.
”But that is certainly not the case. Technology is everywhere now. No one escapes it in our modern society. That is why it is important for us women to partake in the development and drive it.”
Microsoft will announce three finalists who will go on to compete for the award in March. The winner will get her own mentor at Microsoft, become a role model and ambassador for young people interested in technology throughout the country, as well as a member of a network of former finalists who are now active in the industry.
Text: Vedrana Sivac