Hi, my name is Grace Headley and I have been chosen to become one of the new Women in Science Ambassadors for Loughborough University. I’m currently in my first year of studying Mathematics and Sport Science, being the first of my immediate family to go to university.
When people hear that I take a joint honors degree, they’re shocked to hear that a course such as mine can be offered at universities, especially since some people would not choose to combine these two fields of science. However, I chose to do this course as mathematics and sport have become two of my favourite fields of study. I’ve always had a key interest in mathematics from a very young age, and many of my teachers, as I built my knowledge through the years, really supported me, especially being one of very few girls in class, and the only one from an ethnic background.
Once I had started secondary school, I instantly fell in love with the range of sports available to me, as well as the theories behind mechanical movement and achieving high performance through knowledge of varied factors and influences. I currently still play netball, which I used to be captain of my team as well as assist coaching young netball players before I started university, where I could apply my studies in sport lessons to help teach these girls the tactics involved in netball, as well as to keep them motivated and not be afraid of obstacles which may stand in their way when pursuing anything in life.
Leaving my family for the first time brought up a variety of emotions. I was so excited to leave, be independent and free to grow without restriction, but I was also scared, worried, not just for me but for my family. I’ve been a young carer to my older brother since I can remember, who suffers from epilepsy caused by a faulty gene, only discovered a few years ago after undergoing a family genome project.
“These discoveries were not just made by men, but also by women – and many did not get the recognition they deserved”Grace
This is a constant reminder of the many discoveries made in science, which have shaped society and saved many lives. These discoveries were not just made by men, but also by women – and many did not get the recognition they deserved, simply because they were a women in a brainwashed society that believed in male dominance and gender specific roles. This is still evident in society today, even still in schools of lower and higher education, with some teachers influencing genders into specific fields of study, such as psychology for girls and physics for boys. Sometimes people don’t realise they do this. However, by re-educating these people – not just teachers and lecturers but also students and the wider society, we can encourage a more fair and equal opinion on gender in all cases, not just science, but in day to day life too.
I can’t wait to work alongside Katrina, Simona and Rupo to spread awareness of the gender stereotypes in science which still need to be addressed, and to encourage more young girls and women into STEM, giving them faith in themselves to achieve anything they set their minds to.
Women in Science
Encouraging more young women to study science-related subjects