A BARRY head girl offered a place to study medicine at Oxford University marked International Women’s Day with a speech at her all-girls school.

Bryn Hafren comprehensive pupil Charlotte Rose spoke about gender inequality within education and her subjects - biology, chemistry, and English.

Soroptimist International Barry and District sector, together with the school, organised the event on Wednesday, March 8.

Miss Rose said: “My aim is to continue science at university by studying medicine. These STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers are often seen as predominately male orientated fields. I personally find it difficult to think of famous female scientists. It is much easier to reel off a list of male scientists.

“Biologist Jane Goodall completely transformed our understanding of our closest relative in the animal kingdom, the chimpanzee.

“Physicist Maria Mayer suggested the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus, a theory so important that it received the Nobel Prize and Chemist Rosalind Franklin played an instrumental role in discovering the structure of DNA, without which forensic science, paternity testing, agricultural development and genetic illness diagnosis and treatment would be impossible.

“I discovered the adversity they had to overcome to achieve what they did; arranged marriages, parental disapproval of women in science, failure to be hired due to doubts regarding the competency of women are all issues that society, and the nature of their work, imposed upon them.

“It is so important to me that my science teachers are such strong, supportive females. My teachers have shown me that it is not just men who can achieve in science. They have inspired me to keep learning, keep striving for new information and to keep taking any opportunities offered to me. These women taught me more than what the pages of the biology textbook stated, they taught me how be self-confident, how to believe in myself, how to strive for the success and not settle for anything less than my best attempt.”

Guest speakers Hilary Fielder, Judy James and Heidi Murray spoke of their experiences and Vale AM Jane Hutt spoke of how Bryn Hafren pupils had achieved.