STEM Squad Profile: Emma Markham
I didn’t always know I wanted to be a scientist. I trained as a tailor after leaving school at 16, but couldn't find employment after I qualified, so I returned to school to take my A-levels in the hopes of eventually being a manager in a shop. I initially studied biology because I was told it was easy, but then something just clicked and I fell in love with genetics. I went on to study genetics at university and then worked in a range of STEM roles, everything from clinical trials to develop new treatments for the flu to helping develop algorithms which looks at a patient’s cancer genome and identifying the most effective treatments. I have worked at start-ups handling logistics and traveling to visit scientists around Europe, and large organisations where I was one of multiple people working in the lab processing samples. I have been lucky enough to work in Australia, America and around the UK, as STEM gives you skills which are in high-demand globally.
I have a love for science and volunteer with Cheltenham and Oxford Science Festivals and sit on Oxford Science Festival strategy panel. I am a STEM Ambassador and have set up a STEM Ambassador network within my workplace which has over 60 members. I run workshops for children at annual technology and science festival. I’m passionate about women in STEM, I write Wikipedia pages for forgotten women in science history and have been invited to speak at Norwich Science Festival on the topic, and I’m currently mentoring an A-level student. I speak on Women in STEM and Science Career panels, including the Big Bang Fair.