Dr. Youmna Mouhamad, a Swansea engineer, is helping inspire women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) science students through a support network she founded that addresses attainment gap and minority issues for science students.
Mouhamad indicated that she migrated from France to the UK to study a masters in Physics. However, in her class, she noted that out of the 20 students who had been admitted, she was one of the only two women in the science class and the only person of color in the class.
Mouhamad said that at the university, the environment she was living had not been tailored for a person like her to succeed. She continued by saying that she started seeing a drop in her academic performance, creating an attainment gap between her and her fellow students.
However, she indicated that, even with these challenges, she went on to succeed in her masters and started her Ph.D. at Swansea University. Her Ph.D. thesis included groundbreaking research into printed electronics.
Swansea’s College of Engineering BAME network
Her experience at the university and the challenges she went through during her years of study at the university stayed with her and formed an integral part of her journey throughout her academic life. Having gone through these challenges, she decided to form Swansea’s College of Engineering BAME network, which would help other students like her to cope with these challenges.
She indicated that part of the reason the group was formed was to bring start a positive conversation about race in the university. She noted that other facets of social life, such as gender equality, had platforms that comfortably addressed their issues. However, when it became a discussion about race in the university, the conversation quickly turned uncomfortable and was highly shunned in the university.
She indicated that the network would ensure that students have all the support they need and that no student would ever go through what she went through. She also indicated optimism with the project, indicating that she can’t wait to see what the group will achieve in the future.
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