Girls in STEM

Cheltenham Ladies' College pioneered science teaching for girls in the late 1800s, despite objections from many parents and members of the community that the subject was 'unladylike' and inappropriate. Since then, we have continued to be at the forefront of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opportunities for girls and young women, enabling them to pursue careers in a wide range of fields.

For over 160 years our Guild members across the world have made many outstanding contributions to STEM fields; from Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake, who became the first female Master of Surgery in 1895, to Dame Mary Archer DBE, leading scientist and Chair of the Science Museum Group. 

Today, we continue to promote these opportunities for our girls and recent leavers. In 2015, we opened a new Engineering Enterprise and Technology (EET) Department, meaning that all girls in Lower College now study Engineering from the age of 11.

According to WISE, in 2016 only 25% of STEM graduates were women. At College, around a third of our girls go on to study STEM subjects at university each year.

In 2016, the three most popular STEM courses pursued by our leavers were Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and Engineering / Chemical Engineering. The three most popular university destinations for girls going on to study STEM subjects were Imperial College London, UCL and the University of Cambridge.

Below are just a few of the inspirational Guild members (in alphabetical order) who, over the last 160 years, have been leaders in STEM fields.

Science

Gwen Adshead Leading Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, formerly at Broadmoor Hospital 
Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake First female Master of Surgery
Dame Indrid Allen Leading scientist on MS
Jasmin Ansar Sparks Professor and climate change economist
Dame Mary Archer Leading scientist and Chair of the Science Museum Group 
Diana Bates Founder of the Wellspring Centre for psychotherapy
Dr Elizabeth Cass First female ophthalmologist in the Royal Army Medical Corps
Professor Clair Chilvers Co-founder of Mental Health Research UK
Dr Lillias Hamilton Pioneering doctor in India and Afghanistan
Dr Helen Mackay First female Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
Dr Clare Marx CBE First female President of the Royal College of Surgeons
Dr Sallie Woodrow Co-founder of the first birth control clinic in South Africa
Dr Helena Wright  Co-founder of the National Birth Control Council
Technology
Erica Charles Founder of renewable energy company Spirit Solar
Angela Haygarth-Jackson Pioneer and lecturer of information science
Antoinette Haysom Code-breaker at Bletchley Park during WWII
Gladys Hill Worked for MI5
Katy Winterbourn Legal (white-hat) hacker / IT security professional

Engineering

Dorothy Brown Among the first female Members of Institute Civil Engineers
Annie Hall First female member of the Society of Architects
Judith Ledeboer OBE Architect and housing reformer
Belinda Swain Chief Airworthiness Engineer at Rolls-Royce and WISE lifetime achievement winner 
Karen Small Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Flinders University, Australia
Emily So Lecturer in Architecture and Civil Engineering at Cambridge University
Maths
Nicola Armacost Managing Director at Arc Finance
Susan M Auld One of the first female naval architects
Elisabeth Bassett Partner and COO at KPMG
Arabella Di Iorio Partner at Maples & Calder
Claire Griffiths Investment Fund Manager and former head of Invesco
Rachel Lomax First female Deputy Governor of the Bank of England
Antigone Loudiadis Banker and Founder and CEO of Rothesay Life
Jane McCormick Global Head of Tax at KPMG
Clare Spottiswoode CBE First female head of a regulatory agency (Ofgas) 
Lorna Tilbian Executive Director and Head of the Media Sector at Numis Securities
Jada Wattanasiritham Banker and Director at The Siam Commercial Bank