Inspired by March’s International Women’s Month, I decided there was no better time to start my Mighty Women Series, focusing on inspirational women everywhere.
I’ve not made any secret of my desire for my daughter to have positive role models to look up to. In a world of vanity, greed, and selfishness, I want my daughter to aspire to be like one of the many trail blazing women out there who are living the lives THEY want.
My first choice for the series is Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. When you think about women working within the science industry, they don’t come much more inspiring than Maggie.
I must confess that I usually groan when my husband puts a TV programme on about space. It’s not that I don’t find it interesting, it’s more to do with having no idea what they’re talking about! It was only when watching Do We Really Need The Moon that I found myself actually enjoying learning about space. Maggie explained things in way even my less than scientific mind could understand. Her analogies were clever, and the use of visuals really helped the information sink in.
Her enthusiasm for her subject is so infectious, and I can imagine she must be so inspiring to young children of either gender looking for a career in science.
“I think people should aspire high and if I don’t achieve my ultimate goal – I might never get into space – it doesn’t matter, because I will have achieved so much more than if I hadn’t tried.”
Maggie serves as inspiration to those with dyslexia. She was written off as school and put in the “remedial class” (her words) and yet now she is a leading space scientist and Sky at Night presenter! She attended 13 different schools and was told by one teacher not to set her sights so high when she claimed she wanted to be an astronaut. She then went on to graduate with a BSc in physics, and later a PhD in mechanical engineering. If that doesn’t show children to follow their dreams, I don’t know what does.
She also didn’t let lack of funds hold her back – she even went to night school to make her own telescope.
“Find something you love and enjoy and are good at, so it doesn’t seem like work.”
Maggie is the perfect example that if you work hard, you can be successful in the field you chose. I want all of my children to enjoy the work they do. I want them to have a career in an area they are passionate about. I know all too well what it’s like to be stuck in a job you don’t like, and I don’t want that for my kids.
“I’m a feminist, I want equality but I want equality for everybody. Race, creed, colour, gender – it doesn’t matter, equality all round!”
Maggie also shows how women can be successful in a predominantly male dominated field. She has worked for the ministry of defence and has been awarded an MBE for services to science and education.
If you ever have the opportunity to listen to Maggie speak about chasing your dreams and following the path YOU choose, please do. You really don’t need to be a science expect to be swept up in her enthusiasm. She’s so inspiring and it’s great to listen to someone so excited and passionate about what they do. She encourages children to reach for the stars. For her that meant to literally go into space and be amongst the stars, but she shows children that their own dreams, whatever they may be, are valid and worth striving for.
I want my daughter to follow her dreams and, like Maggie, have a career she enjoys. I want her to overcome any obstacles in her way and never let anyone tell her what she can and can’t achieve.