A number of colleagues have supported a STEMettes event, aimed at inspiring the next generation of females into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The volunteers helped show young females, as they start out on their career path, that anything is possible and that with a bit of help and confidence they can realise their potential.
The event, which took place in Birmingham, consisted of two sessions – one in the morning aimed at younger children, working with a number of schools in the Midlands, and one in the afternoon aimed specifically at girls aged 18 years and over.
Throughout the day, our volunteers supported mock interviews with the girls and carried out some speed-mentoring sessions. The girls also got the opportunity to attend workshops covering presentation skills and visit a drop-in tech stand, provided by National Grid, which showed the girls how to use virtual reality and 3D scanners.
Vicky Higgin, Head of Corporate IS, took part in a panel discussion, where she talked about National Grid, her role and why she felt it was important to encourage girls into STEM and, in particular, information technology (IT).
Commenting on the session, Vicky said: “I was surprised by the amount of young women who hadn’t even considered a STEM-based career. I think this is all about perception and this is why attending these events and showing them an alternative view is so important.
“We need digital and engineering skills in our organisation. The rapidly changing energy landscape signals the need for IT and engineering thinking to move closer together and, to stimulate this, we need to encourage diversity of thought in our future workforce; just as we have with biology and engineering for the medical profession, which, incidentally, was the career of choice for a lot of the young women interested in STEM that I spoke to.”
Anne-Marie Imafidon, Head STEMette, commented on our involvement: “It was fantastic to have National Grid so well represented at our MonsterConfidence event in Birmingham. NGLabs ran a popular virtual reality headset stand and women like Jodie Kyte (HR IS Programme Manager) served as role models during our speed-mentoring session and on our panels.”
According to the latest WISE reports (Women in Science, Technology and Engineering), there’s no doubt that we are suffering from a lack of women in STEM and that there is a poor uptake of STEM careers among females.
The STEMettes was set-up to help combat this in a new way. They aim to inspire the next generation of females into STEM fields, by showing them the amazing women already in working in these areas. This is achieved through a series of panel events, ‘hackathons’, exhibitions and mentoring schemes – over 150 girls attended the Birmingham event.
The UK tour, which is organised by Monster Recruitment in partnership with the STEMettes, is also visiting Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff, together with a small army of individual supporters through to major corporates such as CSC and National Grid.
For more information on how to support the STEMettes, please contact Michelle Lester in the Community Programmes team.