This is all about my youngest sister, a sister who I have had the absolute privilege in watching grow up into a very special person.  She recently made us all so proud with her amazing A-Level results (A* Maths, A* Further Maths and A Physics).  She had to grow up with some pretty harsh and constant banter and we aren’t always the best at saying out loud how we feel, so here we go……


Dear Emma

I can’t tell you how incredibly proud we are of you, of what you’ve achieved and how excited we are about the next steps.

I know that the last two years haven’t always been the easiest,  but seriously, you have continued to play football for AFC Wimbledon girls, you have attended a specialist maths college and you have been there through family ups and downs.

At the maths college you experienced sexism which I quite frankly was disgusted by, you should never have had to deal with that.  You rose above it though and consistently proved yourself, working so hard to achieve excellent results.  Putting to bed any questions of whether girls could match the boys, questions which you should never have to answer let alone be asked, but you did, and always with a smile on your face and a quick retort.  Told you banter from your siblings would come in useful one day!!

But….here is the thing I really want you to know.  When I joined the Royal Navy I was able to go to sea because of the generation of women before me fighting for the changes that came into force in 1990; proving that we could handle life at sea as well as any man.  There is the next generation of girls, who are now at school who will have women like you to thank for breaking down the STEM barriers – for making it gender fair.  Girls who in 15 years time will be thanking you and your female peers for paving the way for them to enter engineering and scientific roles.

I’m not saying the next few years are going to be easy, unfortunately I think you will still have barriers to knock down, still have attitudes to change – but I know you can do it!  Never forget how amazing you are.

All my love

Your soppy sister xxx

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