Equality in STEM | The Experience of Techbuyer’s Research and Development Engineer, Kat Burdett
A recent study revealed that whilst the technology sector is growing in size and value, women make up only 28% of employees in the technology sector. Even at younger levels, only 35% of girls will continue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mechanics) subjects past GCSEs and into higher education, with the number falling drastically at university level.
Similarly, overall LGBTQ+ people are roughly 20% less represented in STEM fields than is currently expected by industry experts.
In a recent article by Equality in STEM, Techbuyer’s Research and Development Engineer, Kat Burdett, discussed her experience of working, learning, and researching in STEM.
Kat’s passion for STEM, with a particular interest in aeronautical engineering and thermodynamics, led her to undertake and achieve her qualifications at both Masters and PhD level, and continue her career in data center research at Techbuyer.
Kat shared that her love of STEM comes from the idea that understanding and the application of understanding are essential to evolution. She shares that “these things should drive progress – where progress is defined as raising the quality of life for as many people in as many ways as possible.”
This is a belief we share at Techbuyer; with a dedicated research team, of which Kat plays an integral part. We strive to increase our understanding of data center and server efficiency in order to create a more sustainable data centre world.
Kat’s research has played an essential part in developing the research that goes into the services, software, and consultancy we offer our customers, as well as the discussions we have with industry leaders around the world.
Despite Kat’s obvious drive and affinity for STEM, her journey to where she is now hasn’t been easy:
“I’m a trans woman in a historically conservative field and that has layered complications into every element of my life. I was forced to live a double life for many years, completely separating personal and professional lives into two polar opposite identities, for fear of losing my livelihood.”
Unfortunately, Kat’s experience is not an isolated case and a recent study revealed that STEM fields can be “particularly unwelcoming to people from minoritized social identity groups.” This may be due to the fact that, as shared by STEM Women, STEM industries can adopt a “heterosexist climate that reinforces gender role stereotypes in STEM work environments.”
However, as Kat states, there is progress being made in the industry to diversify and champion equality: “homogeneity in STEM *is* changing, and while there will always be push back, it will not stop progress.”
She also shares that it is through embracing and celebrating people's differences that businesses and society will encourage ingenuity and innovation.
Kat ends the article sharing her thoughts on what more the industry can do to welcome more women and trans people into STEM fields:
“There are women of all minorities, cultural diversities, and sexual and gender identities – any/every one of them is as valuable and worthwhile and capable of wonderful things, if given the same opportunities their white male counterparts have historically been granted. And equality – or equity – does not always mean providing the same resources to everyone, but ensuring everyone has the right support and empowerment needed for them to succeed in equal measure. Everyone has a right to see, but that doesn’t mean we all need glasses.”
Read the full article here or find out more about Kat’s research in the links below:
Balancing Power and Performance: Read Now
Techbuyer’s Sustainable IT Solutions
At Techbuyer sustainability means more than protecting the planet, it means working with and advancing the careers of the people we work with. Our team is the core driving force behind the work we do and our company's growth and, as such, we invest in people.
Techbuyer was recently announced as a great company for women to explore a career in technology, and our sister company, Interact have pledged to have at least 50% female representation in company decision making by 2028, a number that they are currently well on the way to achieving.
Find out more about what sustainability means to Techbuyer here or explore how investing in people can futureproof your organization here.
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