As A’level students studying STEM subjects, Thea and Kaiya are passionate about encouraging more girls to follow in their footsteps and achieve success in sectors which have traditionally been less popular with women.

They have no hesitation in identifying the inspiration for their own shared love of science and passion for studying, Cromwell’s Director of Sixth Form, Heather Paul. They both enthusiastically agree that “Mrs Paul is amazing! Iconic!”

Both students also benefit from having other positive female role models in their lives. Kaiya said “My mum is my role model and she has encouraged me to become the first woman in our family to go to university”. 

Thea’s mum is also very important to her, along with her older sister. She said, “My mum has shown me that it is possible to be a mother and have a career too, and my sister is already at university studying Biology so I definitely look up to her.”

Even with these strong support networks, studying a range of A’level STEM subjects can be very challenging. However, Thea and Kaiya both recognise that there is a great culture at Cromwell amongst their female peers and lots of examples of “girls supporting girls”. 

Looking ahead, Thea is planning to study Environmental Sciences at university, with a dreams of a future in research and achieving a doctorate. Kayia’s dreams include working in the field of vaccine development after studying Biochemistry at university.

With university around the corner, both are looking forward to advancing their studies and are excited about other positives such as “more independence and meeting new people”.

As they prepare to leave Cromwell, Kaiya’s advice to girls who are just beginning their secondary education is “don’t let what others think of you define you and take all the opportunities to get involved in school life that you can”. Thea adds “don’t limit yourself and always keep all your options open.” 
Great messages for all our female students to embrace on this year’s International Women’s Day!