Raising aspirations for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

My name is Rubie and I'm studying my final year in Software Engineering at the University of Portsmouth.

I have always been fascinated with technology! I really enjoy problem solving and innovation, being able to create things, and I felt like technology gave me that option. It has allowed me to express myself, to solve problems, and actually come up with creative solutions. In general, engineering is one of those courses that allows you to be able to be creative, to have ideas and be able to bring them to life, and actually solve real-life problems.

There are some cool things on my course as well. I like the fact that there is a practical aspect to most courses instead of just having a theoretical aspect. Because of that practical application, it gives me the opportunity to express myself, which allows me to think through things and come up with solutions and a big part of software engineering is requirement gathering. Being interactive with people has helped me build friendships, build networks, and has actually led us to use our creativity together to build something.

People have asked me who my inspiration was to Software Engineering and in all honesty, it was just my own passion. At first, my parents were a bit surprised by my decision to go into this field. Overtime, they have seen that this is something that I love to do and because they know that this is my passion, they are supportive.

In the last two years of my degree the Women in STEM campaign has really blown up! I’ve attended about four conferences focusing on women in STEM since I have been at the University. This is an amazing campaign because there is still the stereotype that STEM courses are for men. This campaign is helping to break that stereotype and make people realise that as long as you are passionate about a subject, that you have the right skills, and are interested in it, gender doesn’t matter. The Women in STEM campaign has the potential to produce some amazing results.

If I had the chance to send a message to young girls to inspire them into a career in STEM I would tell them to not be held back by stereotypes!! Don’t be held back by what you can see on the surface because more often than not, there is so much more to a career in STEM than what most people think. Follow your passion!

This blog post was written by Rubie Targema-Takema, Nigeria.