Black British women in science

Black British women have made significant contributions to STEM fields in the UK, despite facing obstacles and challenges due to systemic racism and sexism.

Black British women have historically faced significant challenges and obstacles in accessing education and career opportunities, particularly in STEM fields. These challenges include structural barriers such as lack of access to resources and mentorship, implicit bias and discrimination, and cultural stereotypes and norms that can deter women from pursuing STEM careers. Black women may also experience intersectional discrimination, meaning they face discrimination and barriers based on both their race and gender.


Despite these obstacles, Black British women have made significant contributions to STEM fields in the UK. For example, Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock has not only made important contributions to space science, but has also worked to promote science education and diversity in STEM through her work with schools and outreach programs. Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon has worked to address the gender imbalance in STEM by co-founding Stemettes, an organization that aims to inspire girls and young women to pursue STEM careers. Dr. Sheila Kanani has similarly worked to promote science education and engagement, particularly for underrepresented groups.

In addition to the achievements of individual women, there are also initiatives and organizations working to address the systemic barriers that Black women face in STEM. For example, the Royal Society has launched a Diversity Committee to address issues of underrepresentation in STEM, while the Black British Academics network works to support Black academics and researchers across all fields.

Despite these efforts, much work remains to be done to address the barriers and challenges that Black British women face in STEM. Continued efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields are critical to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to contribute their talents and expertise to these important fields.

Here are some notable Black British women who have made important contributions to STEM:

Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock – Space Scientist and Science Communicator: Dr. Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist and science communicator who is well-known for her work presenting the BBC program “The Sky at Night”. She has also worked on several space projects, including the development of an instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon – Mathematician and Technology Entrepreneur: Dr. Imafidon is a mathematician and technology entrepreneur who founded Stemettes, a social enterprise that aims to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM. She was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to young women and STEM sectors.

Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu – Nursing and Genetics: Professor Anionwu is a nurse, health visitor, and emeritus professor of nursing at the University of West London. She has also made significant contributions to genetics research, particularly in the field of sickle cell disease.

Dr. Funmi Olopade – Oncologist and Researcher: Dr. Olopade is a leading oncologist and researcher who has made significant contributions to our understanding of the genetic basis of breast cancer. She is the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Vanessa Ezenwa – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: Dr. Ezenwa is an ecology and evolutionary biologist who is currently a professor at the University of Georgia. She has conducted extensive reearch on infectious diseases in wildlife and is a leading expert on the ecology of African buffalo.

Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon – She is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who founded Stemettes, a social enterprise that encourages girls and young women to pursue careers in STEM.

Dr. Eniola Fasan – Black British women in science She is a chemical engineer who has worked on developing sustainable materials for the energy and automotive industries.