Category Archives: STEM

Inspiring the future of STEM

Claire McCartney

Dianah and I had the pleasure last week of attending the enei’s half day event- ‘STEM –a roadmap to success.’ The inspiring line up of speakers emphasised in different ways the D & I imperative of the future of STEM in the UK and internationally.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of Engineering UK, spelt this message out with some compelling statistics from Engineering UK’s (2016) research with Warwick’s Working Futures which has found that 182,000 people with engineering skills are needed each year up to 2022 to fill current demand and if this demand was able to be filled this would create an additional £27 billion per year from 2022 to the UK economy. However, we need to double the number of graduates and apprentices entering the engineering industry – which is clearly no mean feat.

Reassuringly, progress is being made by lots of professional bodies and employers passionate about bringing about change. Some examples of these from the conference include the Careers & Enterprise Company, Aimia, Cobham, HS2, EY, Santander, National STEM Learning Centre and Network and more. All of whom are looking to strengthen the connection and fit between education and employment and spark interest in the area of STEM amongst diverse pupils throughout the UK.

The last word though on inspiration has to go to Professor Becky Parker, a professor in Physics and Director of the Institute for Research in Schools. The mission of the Institute is to let young people contribute to research not at some point in the future but now. The answer is not in a textbook and there is so much more to discover through experimentation and real research. The Institute gives pupils the opportunity to be involved in projects varying from synthetic biology to wind turbines. I have to say, I wish my Science teacher at school had been more like Professor Parker – instead my whole class was banned for a year from doing any experiments in chemistry due to one or two people misbehaving. The result of this of course meant hardly any pupils going on to study chemistry at A level and follow scientific careers.

As a parent, the conference has had the effect on me of wanting to inspire my own two young daughters around the possibilities of the STEM area and as an inclusive talent professionals, it has inspired myself and Dianah to continue to help and promote the importance of D & I to the future of STEM.

Engineering UK (2016) Engineering UK 2016 The state of engineering. London: Engineering UK.

http://www.enei.org.uk/pages/stem…-a-roadmap-to-success.html

Boosting the potential of female engineering talent in corporates and start-ups

By Claire McCartney and Dianah Worman

Inclusive Talent were guest speakers at the recent Society of Women Engineers Europe Annual Conference, WE Europe: Reach Out to Reach Up, 11th-13th May, College of Architects, Madrid.

The under representation of women in business is an increasing concern particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths sector. It is triggering activity by diverse stakeholder interest groups including governments, education providers, professional bodies as well as employers themselves to find out what the issues are and what needs to be done to fix them.

We have a personal interest in enabling the progress of diverse and inclusive talent to support business performance. We were therefore delighted to be invited to run interactive workshops at the Society for Women Engineers Europe conference: Reach Out to Reach Up, in Madrid last month. The event brought together women engineers and employers to focus on maximising female engineering talent in corporates and start-ups.

Our first session, [facilitated by Dianah], explained diversity and inclusion, the business case, how behaviour causes unfair advantage and disadvantage, explored how it feels to be regarded as different from everyone else in the in-crowd, what changes can be made to progress diversity and inclusion and what can be done differently to attract and retain more women in engineering. This two part session was delivered as a lecture and highly participative group discussions designed to draw on the experiences and observations of delegates and their ideas for change that would work.

Our second session, [facilitated by Claire], focused on the important issue of developing entrepreneurial skills for success in the engineering sector. Throughout the session, delegates shared their own examples of female entrepreneurs that inspired them and talked about the skills that had made them successful. More often than not these role models were real life examples of family members or friends rather than what might be considered ‘celebrity’ entrepreneurs. We also explored how organisations themselves could become more entrepreneurial and shared examples of organisations that are successfully supporting intrapreneurs such as Microsoft, 3M and even the US State Department of eDiplomacy.

In our experience the event was a great success and created an exciting buzz in the networking sessions. We hope we helped to make a difference and look forward to contributing to future events.

For more information about this event, published in Womanthoogy, go to: http://www.womanthology.co.uk/maximising-the-potential-of-female-engineering-talent-in-corporates-and-start-ups-reaching-out-and-reaching-up-in-europe-claire-mccartney-and-dianah-worman-co-directors-of-inclusive-talent/

For more information about SWE go to: http://Societyofwomenengineers.swe.org

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Company number: 10255762