Last Friday, Queen Elizabeth II, awarded Nigeria’s Anne-Marie Imafidon an MBE, Member of the Order of the British Empire, for her work inspiring the next generation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). According to reports, at 27, Imafidon is the youngest scientist to get a royal recognition since 1890.
The eldest of Britain’s Brainiest Family, Imafidon has always been interested in Mathematics, Business and Technology. And has a unique streak of achievements including passing two GCSEs in Mathematics and ICT at the age of 10, being the youngest girl to pass A-level computing at age 11, receiving a British Scholarship to study Mathematics at John Hopkins University at the age of 13, and being one of the youngest to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford at age 20.
Imafidon is the CEO and co-founder of Stemettes, an award-winning social enterprise for young girls interested in STEM. She launched the organisation in February 2013 to bridge the gender gap in STEM after she realised the meagre number of women in the industry. For Imafidon, STEM subjects are not just about solving problems, “they can also be used to change people’s lives for the better. Tech has been a great leveller and a global tool for good,” she stated in an interview with Parent Info.
More than anything, Imafidon serves as a role model to young girls who would otherwise have been unable to see a female figure excelling in the industry. Her organisation has tutored and mentored about 15,000 girls across the UK, Ireland and Europe; proof that she is deserving of the honour of an MBE.
“It’s a well done and thank you to my team, our volunteers and those who have taken us seriously over the last four years. This is humbling and a sign of what is to come. Inclusivity in the sector and across society is important for all of us, it’s an honour in itself to do the work we do,” she said.