Judith Abolle-Okoyeagu from RGU in front of a blue background

Smashing Stereotypes: Judith Abolle-Okoyeagu

By Judith Abolle-Okoyeagu, Principal Lecturer - 11 March 2024

As a female engineering lecturer and head of Electronic and Electrical Engineering department, I am deeply committed to smashing stereotypes through my teaching, research and public engagement endeavours. In a field traditionally dominated by men, my role as the RGU’s Equality Champion for Sex has helped me challenge outdated perceptions and inspire the next generation of diverse engineers.

In my teaching role, I actively encourage and support all students, regardless of gender, to pursue their passion for engineering. By creating an inclusive and supportive classroom environment, I strive to break down barriers and empower students to excel in their studies. Through hands-on projects, collaborative learning activities, and real-world case studies, I demonstrate that engineering is a field where everyone can thrive, irrespective of gender stereotypes.

In addition to my teaching efforts, my research endeavours also play a crucial role in smashing stereotypes in STEM. Through my research projects, I actively explore areas where women have been traditionally underrepresented, such as mechanical, design, oil and gas engineering. By making significant contributions to these fields, I aim to demonstrate the valuable perspectives and insights that women bring to the table in engineering research.

Furthermore, I actively engage in outreach initiatives and community involvement to advocate for STEM education and careers, particularly among young girls and underrepresented groups. My aim is to inspire and encourage more young women to explore engineering as a career path. Through various public engagement events, including the International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) event, I highlight the significant contributions made by female engineers throughout history and showcase the pioneering work being undertaken by women across different engineering disciplines. By doing so, I aspire to empower young women to pursue their aspirations in engineering and equip them with the confidence and resilience needed to overcome any obstacles they may encounter along their journey.

Moreover, as a Professional Review Interviewer for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, I actively mentor and support female students and graduates providing them with guidance, opportunities, and encouragement to pursue their academic and professional goals. I am also a STEM Ambassador and the Founder of the Ecstemtic Network, the network is focused on promoting STEM education for girls through free mentoring and support. By serving as a mentor and role model, I hope to empower the next generation of female engineers to overcome obstacles, shatter glass ceilings, and make their mark in the world of STEM.

Overall, I am dedicated to challenging stereotypes, fostering diversity and inclusion, and paving the way for a more equitable and representative future in STEM. By breaking down barriers and inspiring change, I believe we can create a world where all individuals, regardless of gender, are empowered to pursue their passions and make meaningful contributions to the field of STEM.

British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, taking place between 8 - 17 March 2024. This year’s theme is ‘smashing stereotypes’, celebrating the diverse people and careers in STEM.

On RGView, we have featured five leading staff members who have each written about their experience of smashing stereotypes. Read their inspiring stories:

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