My Voyage to the Wise One to Watch Award
Amy Mercer talks about her STEM career so far and what it was like to win the 2017 WISE One to Watch Award
I’m Amy Mercer and I’m one of the female STEM apprentices contributing to the meagre 7.5% of female STEM apprenticeship achievers. As you can see in the picture above, I’m extremely happy to be a part of this statistic and leading the path for women in STEM. I’d also just won the WISE campaigns “One to Watch Award” so that’s why I’m clinging onto a trophy which conveniently matches my dress. Read on to see how I became a 2017 winner of a WISE award.
Are you a female envisioning or currently pursuing a career in a STEM subject, or a supporter of gender equality? If so, then I’m here to tell you about how I’m pursuing my passion for science whilst campaigning for 50% women in STEM by 2020 and how you could do the same.
I studied for my triple science GCSE’s at an all-girl performing arts school, I then became one of very few to progress science to a level 3 qualification, studying applied science with extended forensic science. It was over these 2 years that I discovered how much I relished being in the laboratory environment and from then my desire for industry began! On completion of my course I was confident that university was not for me and I began to explore other options – which led me to my current apprenticeship – enabling me to combine academic studies with practical tasks and gain industry experience.
I’m a higher laboratory scientist and work for global pharmaceutical company Pfizer, helping with the process of getting potentially life changing medicines to people who need them the most. Alongside this, I study for a degree in chemistry – making me a part of another statistic highlighting the deprived representation of women in STEM – 9% of girls study a STEM subject at level 4 or above. For more enlightenment surrounding women in STEM check out the latest WISE Stats.
Alongside my work I invest my time taking STEM activities into schools and colleges to share my passion for what I do and hopefully inspire the younger generation to follow in similar footsteps.
I think outreach to children is so important because they are the scientists of the future. It gives me an overwhelming sense of joy to know I’m part of the process to end stereotypes surrounding women in STEM and open the eyes of young females and males to the opportunities that are out there.
My hard-work, dedication and enthusiasm to my job, studies and my STEM outreach combined is what provided me with the platform necessary to apply for the WISE ‘One to Watch Award’. The final stage of this process was an amazing gala dinner night featuring a live Q&A to a large audience of inspirational men and women from science followed by a live vote – to which I won! It feels remarkable to be recognised for trailblazing and lighting a fire under the next generation.