There is a historical gender imbalance within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). However, many women are actively seeking to increase the representation of women in STEM.
Which women in STEM have the most influence on Twitter?
To answer this question we've considered women active both on Twitter and in the world of STEM, especially those committed to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the UK.
Twitter is one of today's most powerful tools for social influence, and is a proxy for wider online influence. That said, some individuals, although hugely influential in STEM, are not active on Twitter, or are most active through organisational Twitter accounts.
How is influence measured?
We used Followerwonk, a respected online analytics tool, to measure Twitter influence. Followerwonk assigns a Social Authority score between 1 and 100. It does this by analysing how many of a user's most recent hundreds of tweets were retweeted by others.
Our Top Ten
Out Top 60 is packed full of influential women, but here's a closer look at our top ten:
#1 Martha Lane Fox
Baroness Lane-Fox, CBE, tops our table with the highest social authority score (74.9), and the most followers (192,458). Baroness Lane-Fox proposed Dot Everyone, a national institution focusing on digital education, women and ethics.
#2 Prof Alice Roberts
Professor Roberts ranks second in our table for social authority (72.7) and for followers (97,884). Professor Roberts is Professor of Public Engagement in Science at University of Birmingham, and presents science documentaries for BBC TV.
#3 Alice Bell
Alice Bell is the third woman in our table with a social authority over 70. She is a writer and campaigner with over 20,000 Twitter followers and over 40,000 tweets. She tweets about subjects such as climate change and diversity in science.
#4 Dr Sue Black OBE
Dr Sue Black, OBE, is the longest-serving tweeter in our table, joining in 2007. She also has the third highest number of tweets (105,866). Dr Black founded BCSWomen, and appeared as a mentor in BBC Three documentary Girls Can Code.
#5 Mary Branscombe
Mary Branscombe is our third most prolific tweeter, with 101,899 tweets. She's a freelance technology and science journalist who has written for ZDNet, The Register, TechRadar, CITEworld, Financial Times, and The Guardian.
#6 Chi Onwurah
Chi Onwurah, MP, is the Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. She has a background in engineering and has spoken out on the link between childhood gender stereotypes and the shortage of women engineers.
#7 Eileen Burbidge
Eileen Burbidge, MBE, has our third largest Twitter following (61,293 followers). She's an influential technology sector venture capitalist, Tech City UK board member, and has encouraged women in tech to "step it up".
#8 Oona Räisänen
Oona Räisänen is our 8th-most-retweeted tweeter. She is a signals hacker and author of tech blog Absorptions. She was featured in The Guardian's National Women in Engineering Day "six Twitter accounts to follow".
#9 Nicky Morgan
Nicky Morgan, MP, has our fourth highest number of followers (42,405). She is Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, and has emphasised the importance of STEM subjects for young people's job prospects.
#10 Athene Donald
Professor Dame Athene Donald, DBE, FRS, completes our top ten influencers. She is Professor of Experimental Physics at University of Cambridge, has chaired the Athena Forum, and is a passionate champion of women in STEM.
Prospect union's Prospect Pioneers are successful and inspiring women working in male-dominated professions. Featured 54th in our table is Prospect Pioneer and Marine Office Beshlie Pool (@_beshlie). In 61st place, narrowly missing a place in our table, is Prospect Pioneer and Project Controls Engineer Mavis Amadi (@AmadiMavis).
Just outside our top sixty are Dawn Bonfield (@dawnbonfield1), Chief Executive of the Women's Engineering Society, who usually tweets through their @wes1919 account, and Fiona Hathorn (@FionaHathorn), Managing Director of Women on Boards UK, who usually tweets through their @WOBUK account.
UK #WomenInSTEM influencers league table
Here's the full Careersmart UK #WomenInSTEM influencers league table.
|1||74.9||Martha Lane Fox||@Marthalanefox||192,458||17,750|
|2||72.7||Prof Alice Roberts||@DrAliceRoberts||97,884||12,925|
|4||69.7||Dr Sue Black OBE||@Dr_Black||33,463||105,866|
|16||58.0||Dr Lucy Rogers||@DrLucyRogers||11,454||58,909|
|20||55.6||Dr Heather Williams||@alrightPET||5,358||20,197|
|39||41.3||Melissa Di Donato||@mdidonato1||1,107||752|
Have we missed anyone who should have been in our Top 60? Get in touch and let us know!
Top 50 women in engineering
Along with a number of employers, Prospect is sponsoring an initiative being hosted by the Daily Telegraph to identify the top 50 women in engineering. The Telegraph printed a supplement to launch the initiative, e-version: http://reader.livedition.dk/
Winners will be announced on 23 June (National Women in Engineering Day). Why not nominate a women engineer - even better if a Prospect member !