Mythili Sutharson: From dreams to potential reality
1 October 2014
“WISE has helped me realise that engineering and science is a great field to go into, due to the fact that it is the foundation of our world as we know it today.”
I am 17 years of age and I am very interested in pursuing a career in mechanical or chemical engineering; I believe that we should be able to obtain any opportunities given to us in today’s world of technology. Currently in AS level, I am studying Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Economics, hoping to go into Chemistry and/or Physics. The community in WISE helps break the gender divide in terms of career paths for women in engineering and hopefully ensures that one day, both women and men will equally become a part of science and technology in the future.
Statistically, according to the Telegraph, in the engineering workforce in the U.K, there are only 8.5% women in engineering. However, this percentage is increasing as we speak- thousands of women every year apply to some sort of engineering course. Furthermore, on the whole, there is also a shortage of engineers in the country. The Financial Times states that for Britain to keep up with its technological advancements, they will need to train around 87,000 a year until 2020 to keep up with retiring engineers and the huge demand in the vast industry respectively.
I am currently a student attending Watford Grammar School for Girls and would like to pursue a career in STEM. Although I have not embarked on a STEM career, I can safely say that I believe engineering has helped create the world that we know today. By definition, engineering is the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, design, build and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. However we are not told that Science creates enthralling, revitalising and enjoyable new concepts and ideas that are indispensable in the present day. New branches of drug delivery, infrastructure or even the depths of this computer screen were made by various engineers. This common idea is what interests me the most within the area of science and engineering: the fact that a few raw materials can make something as elaborate as aeroplanes or mobile phones is extraordinary.
One day, I would like to be a part of this ever-growing community. The opportunities that are now available for both genders alike are incredible and WISE without a doubt, highlights this achievement. Joining WISE definitely helps establish these grounds by both the website and events that they run throughout the course of the year, helping students like myself, determine what branch of science they may wish to pursue. We can evidently see the great leaps and bounds that women have made in both science and technology.
My true childhood dream was to be an astronaut
Photo: I made the rocket as part of my product design GCSE coursework based on childhood ambitions
As clichéd as it may appear, my true childhood dream was to be an astronaut; although unconventional, in comparison to my sister, who was convinced she had wings growing behind her back at the age of 7 - I was certain that I would join women like Sally Ride or Kalpana Chawla in my mission to space. Like every other child at every mission, my bed would transform into Saturn V; which I would fix to ensure the safety of my manned landing to the moon. Training underway and food supplies at the ready, I felt I was ready to launch into the unknown. My glow in the dark stars sprawled on my walls- clustered in constellations of the Big Dipper or Leo the Lion.
Ten years later and nothing has really changed. I am still fixated on finding a new model of rockets or making new chemicals or machinery to find what is still unfamiliar has been the ultimate ambition. Organisations like WISE helps students cross the bridge between dream and reality.
Personally, when I came across the WISE website a few months ago, I realised how many numerous events and engineering opportunities there are. For example I am hoping to attend one of WISE's Create your future courses for girls, parents and teachers. Furthermore there is a Space technology lecture later this month in the Royal society, London, which I would also like to attend. Opportunities like this and previous events that I have attended have led me to comprehend and consolidate my true passion for science.
My other siblings are not only the same age as me, but we also have an age gap of a mere few minutes. Being a triplet definitely plays as an advantage during my current years in education as both guidance and experience although minute, can be shared by all three of us alike, even without having the same ambitions. Both my parents did not go into a career in science, although this did not stop me or one of mysisters wanting to go into a career in science. Having positive role models both at school and home helps gear and improve both my strengths and weaknesses in all aspects of life to ultimately reach any ambition.