There are two facts that we have in front of us. One, we know that women generally have lower confidence in their maths ability. Two, there have been any number of tests to show that, on average, there is no difference between men and women in mathematical aptitude. This is what we have to work with.
Historically women were actively discouraged from going into maths and science. That kind of discrimination has a real long-term effect. Although things are improving, it takes a while for that kind of thing to filter out.
I won’t say I’ve never come across [discrimination], because I have, but I genuinely believe that 99% of people don’t discriminate. And I have a healthy dose of defiance and a charge-on attitude – it’s not something I’ve ever thought is going to stop me.
Lily Serna, Australian mathematician and television presenter