Celebrating one of Bristol’s most influential women in STEM

To mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Emma Williams shines a spotlight on Bristol’s Rav Bumbra, who has empowered 20,000 women and girls into STEM careers since she launched Cajigo in 2018.

Last Friday (11th February) marked the 7th International Day of Women and Girls in Science and therefore is a day to reflect and celebrate the significant contributions women have made in science and technology. To achieve equal participation in science for women and girls, and further empowerment, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11th February as International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015.

It is easy to identify that long-standing biases and gender stereotypes are steering women and girls away from science and technology career sectors. This is emphasised statistically by recent UCAS data provided by HESA, 35% of STEM students in higher education are women.

Meanwhile, the adoption of declaring today, 11th February, a day for recognising the achievements women have made in science and technology. Addressing the present and the potential space of growth of the dominance of women in science and technology is encouraged by the vitality of science and gender equality in the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals; for example, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Over the last seven years, the global community has made a crucial effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science and technology with the declaration of today to reflect on the important contributions women have made to science and technological advancements. Focusing in on the present and highlighting an aspirational woman in STEM from Bristol, Rav Bumbra, who empowers women and girls to participate and exceed in science, technology and innovation through social campaigning. Rav Bumbra’s work and campaigning advocates the significance of having strong women and girls in STEM careers.  

Rav Bumbra is founder of Structur3dpeople and Cajigo and has been showcased as the ‘Most Influential Women in UK Tech since 2017’. In 2018 Rav Bumbra, launched the social campaign, Cajigo, an app that provides mentoring and support to women and girls to accelerate their growth into tech, digital, engineering and leadership careers. Cajigo has reached, engaged and empowered 20,000 girls into STEM careers; the success of the app has been recorded, resulting in the campaign being shortlisted as the DEI Initiative of the Year by Women in IT Awards 2021. 

Rav Bumbra is a perfect role model for women and girls in Bristol, her campaign, Cajigo, is changing the narrative of STEM for girls; inspiring, engaging and raising the aspirations of girls from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds, creating confident women who can clearly see their defined pathways to exciting scientific careers where they can thrive. 

As Rav Bumbra says herself: “When applying for roles, women are found to underestimate their abilities and are therefore seen to lack confidence when compared to men. I spend a lot of time getting women to talk about their strengths in a structured manner, which helps to build confidence and see successful outcomes.” 

Rav Bumbra is also the founder of Structur3dpeople, which is centred around improving diversity and gender representation in her chosen sector of technology, supporting businesses with their recruitment diversity. Rav Bumbra’s entrepreneurial experience is shown through the commitments and purpose of Structur3dpeople, inspiring the next developing generation of tech talent and innovation while encouraging and stimulating women and girls’ growth of skills for the science industry sector through learning and development programmes.  

Rav Bumbra’s dedication to her campaigning work as a local woman in Bristol is efficacious for women and girls in Bristol to create their own definitive pathways into a STEM career successfully, especially with the additional importance of International Day of Women and Girls in Science adding to affirmations of women and girls significance in science. 

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