Isabella inspires Oxbridge to publish her words

ONE of the world’s leading educational institutions has published the work of a Warrington student.

Isabella Odogu, who studies A-Levels at Priestley College, wrote an essay about the lack of women in key positions in STEM industries.

Her carefully-crafted words won Oxbridge Inspires’ STEM Writers’ Competition and the prize was to be published on their website.

“It has always interested me why there are lots of girls taking STEM subjects, but there are not many women in the industries,” said Isabella, who lives in Great Sankey.

Isabella, a former pupil at Tower College in Rainhill, studies A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Spanish at Priestley College and hopes to become a dentist.

She has also completed the Extended Project at Priestley, which, she says, helped prepare her for writing the essay for Oxbridge.

In her assignment she asked ‘why is the topic of women in STEM still an issue today’ and gave her theory as to the answer.

She wrote: “Perhaps these women believe that they would be discriminated against in industry and so are deterred from entering certain jobs, or maybe a job such as a research post would be interrupted by life events such as having a child, so they think that it isn’t worth pursuing a career like this.

“Whatever their reasons, a large proportion of women who have studied STEM subjects are not transferring their skills into industry, but instead are focusing on education.”

The Oxbridge competition attempts to introduce students to advanced STEM topics that go well beyond the curriculum and support applications for STEM subjects at top universities.

Isabella hopes winning the competition will bolster her CV as she bids for places on competitive Dental Surgery degree courses.

“The good thing is the girls in my generation are being encouraged to aim high and believe we can achieve anything,” she said.

“That’s why I want to go into dentistry and I don’t think a lot of people realise what a difference a dentist can make to someone’s life.”

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