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:

For more information about SWE go to:

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INCLUSIVE TALENT LIMITED is a Private Limited Company

Company number: 10255762

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