A Cromwell College pupil and businesswoman is hoping her book can inspire young girls to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) fields.
Anthea Husein, 17, launched her business — EmpowHerMind — earlier this year as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme, a business innovation programme for high school pupils.
Her business has taken the form of a book Anahera’s STEM Adventures.
‘‘It’s to encourage young girls to pursue Stem,’’ Anthea said.
Stem is an umbrella term which covers the technical disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The book follows a young Maori girl as she meets six different women working in a wide variety of Stem fields.
This gave Anthea a chance to incorporate te reo Maori into the book.
She could use familiar Maori words such as ‘‘wahine’’, but also some words that may be less familiar such as ‘‘ko ¯tiro’’, meaning ‘‘girl’’.
Anthea said she had chosen to include a glossary at the beginning of the book, so readers could engage with the te reo Maori words throughout the book.
‘‘It’s good to know that the glossary is there for you to come back to.’’
Characters throughout the book are based on six real women who have worked in the Stem industry, with brief biographies of each woman at the end of the book.
Anthea had selected a diverse range of women from around the world because when she was growing up there were few books she could relate to as a person of colour.
‘‘I’ve personally faced a lot of stereotypes against me going into Stem.’’
She hoped young girls could read and identify with her book.
It would show young girls ‘‘there’s always going to be someone else that they can relate to’’, she said.
While it had taken a long time to settle on a product for her business, she was thrilled with how the book had turned out.
‘‘I’m so proud of it,’’ she said.
For every 10 books sold, EmpowHerMind would give one to a school in Fiji.
Anthea, who was from Fiji, said this could help to improve the quality of learning supplies in the country and to bridge the educational gender gap there.
‘‘I’ve seen the quality of educational resources [in Fiji] — not so great.’’
The illustrations and writing had been completed by Grace Naylor and Kaia Hutchinson, two of Anthea’s fellow pupils, and the book used a font and spacing which made it dyslexia-friendly.
Anthea said she would love to continue the book series while at university with more books exploring other fields, such as sport or commerce.
She hoped to receive the published copies of the book by next month.