As the UK continues its struggle to recruit and train a sufficient number of engineers a new platform has been released to promote careers in Aerospace and STEM industries to women. The Women in Space database, developed by the Telegraph Jobs and Career site, charts the careers of over 140 women who have defied the odds to establish themselves firmly within the aerospace sector.
One of the main reasons the database was produced was to spread awareness. Both in terms of employment and education women fall significantly behind their male counterparts when it comes to engineering, scientific and technological careers.
What the Telegraph Jobs Women in Space database is able to do is provide us with an exciting overview of the careers of those women who dared to turn a dream about a career in space travel into a reality.
The database is split into two parts, Historic Heroines and Modern Marvels, with each profile consisting of a picture, text and video link to a voyage or interview with the individual.
The Historic Heroines section describes the careers of those individuals who have traveled into space on missions. The women involved are from a variety of backgrounds, with common features being women with military, scientific and medical careers. Many have been part of crew, undertaking a variety of experiments and for a chosen few there have even been opportunities to undertake the pinnacle act of any astronaut career: the Spacewalk. Profiles include Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in Space; Sally Ride, the first American woman in Space; and Helen Sharman, the first Brit in space.
The Modern Marvels section provides us with the profiles of those women who work in today’s space industry, who provide the vital support services for space missions and are designing and engineering new space activity; propelling astronauts into space. These women come from a background of sectors including aerodynamics, education, digital, law, human resources as well as STEM subjects such as science, engineering and technology. The profiles of these women highlight the variety of careers that are available to anyone interested in entering these job sectors.
As you will see on the Telegraph Jobs Women in Space database Mary Ann Esfandiari is one of the women working on space flight safety. She first began her career at NASA in 1974, working in a microelectronics lab. Since then she has worked her way up and is now the Deputy Associate of Flight Projects for Space Communication and Exploration. Her job role makes her responsible for operations, which help sustain the active Space Network, also known as the earth-orbiting satellites. This job role is hugely important, as there are so many satellites out there; they all need to be maintained in order to monitor their safety.
Kathleen Howell is another woman who works with flight safety in the aerospace industry. As part of her job role, she is responsible for a number of factors, which keep the safety standards as high as possible. Not only does she work in aircraft maintenance by enabling modifications, she also does a lot of planning and is required to obtain many flight approvals. All of these duties make sure that others working alongside her are kept in a safe environment, which just shows the importance of her job role.
– The following video is a recording of an all-woman astronaut panel hosted by the International Space University in the summer of 2014
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NASA in particular has paved the way for women across the world interested in a STEM career, with a third of its workforce being female. Indeed a similar thread runs through the stories and careers of all these women. Although the industry is dominated by their male counterparts these women have shown that with hard work and dedication there should be no boundaries to what is achievable and when it comes to a STEM career the sky should not be the limit.
If you are currently working in the space industry and are not featured in the database you can get in touch with the Telegraph Jobs engineering team to be featured. They welcome you to email them your profile firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanna Heeraman is a Digital Executive working with the Telegraph Jobs team. Her experience covers many job sectors from marketing, recruitment, retail to consultancy. Jeanna loves creativity and has a passion for inspiring change and motivating innovation.