“I often talk to my students about being brave. Be open to what you can achieve, there is no limit to your success.”
Ms Dowers is a teacher who is part of the maths department and is challenging stereotypes of women in STEM by constantly encouraging her girls to pursue excellence in maths. So we asked her a few questions on super girls and her own achievements.
What does an empowered woman look like to you?
An empowered woman is often defined as, “someone who knows her strengths and isn't afraid to embrace them.” For me, it's not just about capitalising on strengths but an ability to acknowledge my weaknesses and the courage to face them as well. Additionally, I think you are empowered when you embrace all aspects of your life and I try to share my experiences with the students in my classroom.
I think this is where my passion for Mathematics is derived from. I don't believe people are ever limited in what they can achieve in any instance but, in particular, the Maths classroom. I often talk to my students about being brave, I encourage them to find beauty in their work and see the power that Mathematics can play in their lives.
What advice do you have for girls looking to make a similar impact or for those with passions in similar backgrounds to yours?
In order to have an impact or embrace your passion, I think it is essential to share your joy, talk about your work with others, show others how you solve questions, ask others how they solve them and compare strategies, this will deepen your understanding. Be open to what you can achieve, there is no limit to your success. Be a woman for others.
What are the challenges you have faced or continue to face in your current field and how have you either overcome them or are working to overcome them?
I am not sure I have faced many challenges, certainly when I was at university there were not many women in the fields I studied in, but this did not phase me too much. I had brothers at home, so I was used to mixing it up with them all the time. We face small challenges every day, as we try to balance family, work and friends, so I just try to take each day at a time, do everything as well as I can and find joy and happiness in whatever I am doing.
Who were some role models for you growing up that inspired you to do what you do?
My mother and grandmother, both incredibly strong, positive and hard-working women, who embraced every challenge thrown at them and excelled at whatever they put their minds to.