March 2015

News from WISE

WISE inspires girls for National Apprenticeship week 
WISE has been working in partnership with Cogent on the WISE Scientific Apprenticeships Project to deliver diversity events that will bring together school girls, parents and industry, in order to increase the number of girls entering STEM via scientific apprenticeships. The project has included workshops at STEMtech Live in Leeds and at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. Girls and their families have had the opportunity to meet role models, including WISE Apprentice Award winner Anna Shaw, discussing career options in scientific apprenticeships and beyond. The girls who attended found 
“Listening to people talk about what it's like to work in different job areas - specifically women working in science – inspiring and encouraging”. Discovery events will also take place at schools in Liverpool and Oxford. 

Employers: are you interested in FREE training or holding an Open Day for girls?
As part of the above project with Cogent, WISE is also delivering free half day training sessions for employers, and a number of Open days at different companies for girls and their parents/family members. If you are an employer and interested in the free training or hosting an Open Day, please contact Jacki Mason on

Join WISE at the next Knowledge Sharing event
WISE held another successful knowledge sharing event on 25 February kindly hosted by Winton Capital at their Hammersmith offices. It was a much more technical event than previous knowledge sharing events and we had some very positive feedback about this change of approach from attendees. The next WISE Knowledge Sharing event, hosted by DSTL in Salisbury on 13 May, will explore the theme of Mentoring - Sharing good practice.

WISE Young Women's Board at the Big Bang Fair
The WISE Young Women's Board (WYWB), in collaboration with Intel Corporation, consists of ten women under the age of 30 working or studying in the STEM sector, and gives valuable insight and support to the WISE campaign goal to bridge the gap between classroom and boardroom. The WYWB met at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair on Friday 13 March to support Engineering UK delivering 'Meet the future you' workshops for attendees and to take part in a Q&A for school aged girls on the topic of 'What I would tell my teenage self'. Questions ranged from 'what kind of engineer can I be with A levels in biology and maths?' to 'how do you feel about working on a submarine?' and the session generated a huge amount of enthusiasm from the girls in the audience. Please contact Sarah Shaw, WISE Communications Director, if you are interested in applying for places on the WYWB:

Ten Steps gains momentum
The Ten Steps initiative co-created by WISE and The Royal Academy of Engineering continues to gain traction amongst companies seeking to improve gender balance within their organisations. There are now 29 signatories to the campaign which continues to expand with latest pledges from Amey, Bechtel and Card Geotechnics. The practical industry orientated approach really appeals to organisations who can see that diversity can be treated like any other business improvement project. Ten Steps posters and postcards are now available. If you'd like to get involved contact Suzy Firkin at

Join the WISE team
We are seeking a Communications Assistant to support the work of the Communications Team and Partnership Team at WISE. The role involves a wide variety of activities including event preparation, writing online content, liaising with role models and lots more. Further details and how to apply

Career Development Programmes for Women in STEM
The WISE Career Development Course for Women has been hugely well received by those that have attended it. See participants speak about their experience on the Skills4 website. Bouyed up by such positive feedback WISE has booked the next two sets of dates into the calendar starting in May (London) and September (Manchester). In addition there is a new 2 day Returners courses starting in June and October 2015 for those who are imminently about to return to work after a career break or have recently returned and would value some advice and support in this new phase of their life. WISE offers these open courses so that anyone can book on irrespective of their employer or role within the business. WISE can also run them as in-house courses for those companies who have sufficient numbers to make this practical.
Research shows that a safe space to discuss career challenges and quality time to devote to career planning are key aspects that can make a difference to career progression for women. WISE courses really deliver in providing that space and time.

News from you

Congratulations to the 2015 FDM everywoman in Technology Award winners.

Congratulations Ruth McKernan, who has been appointed chief executive of Innovate UK. She holds a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from Kings College, London and has had a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Congratulations to the 'Top 30 women shaping green business', including WISE Board Member and CEO of the Renewable Energy Association, Nina Skorupska. In recognition of International Women's Day, BusinessGreen compiled a list of the top 30 women driving change in the low carbon economy today. 


Opportunities to make a difference

Inspire young female STEM entrepreneurs
WISE is working to support Stemettes with their Outbox Incubator project this summer, readying young female STEM entrepreneurs for life. If you are a female WISE member and also an entrepreneur or inventor working independently or an intra-preneur or R&D person from a company then please get in touch with Sarah Shaw: about the project. You need to be available on the afternoon of April 28 in central London to hear the girls present their project ideas, and also to commit to a Wednesday lunchtime between 27 July and 4 September to have lunch with the girls in the incubator house in London to talk to them about their projects and offer advice. No prep required just bring your brain and motivate!
Deadline for expressions of interest to Sarah Shaw is Friday 20 March.
Stemettes are in search of a house in London that can accommodate 15 girls for 6 weeks to incubate their ideas, learn from each other and inspire the next generation of girls to do STEM. Please contact Jessica Nugent at

Empowered Women in STEM - have your photo taken
Top photographer, Kelvin Murray is looking to photograph women in STEM for a series on empowered women who challenge traditional gender roles. The project is for himself and Getty Images.
Would you like to be photographed? You would be paid and the shoot will be organised at a convenient time to suit you.
To hear more contact (Please mention WISE)

Become a Cherie Blair Foundation Mentor
The Cherie Blair Foundation’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme combines mentoring with technology to support women who run micro, small and medium enterprises around the world. This May, pioneering women entrepreneurs from over 55 countries will team up with successful entrepreneurs and professionals, like you, to grow and refine their businesses through online mentoring. By giving just two hours a month, you could support a woman entrepreneur in a developing or emerging country as she builds her business, enhances her skills and gains economic independence.

STEM Outreach Leaders and Mentors wanted
Exscitec is looking for STEM Outreach Leaders and Mentors to work in London and the South.  A range of work opportunities exist to develop/lead workshops within new exciting hands-on STEM events at universities and schools. In particular, Exscitec are keen to work with experienced Chemistry, Physics and Maths Leaders who can support the summer school programme and teacher training modules, as well as to provide training for Mentors and potential Leaders in STEM Outreach delivery. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential. Apply with a CV to/request information from / 01730 262927
Research reports

Targets or quotas to improve the gender balance within organisations
Here at WISE we are often asked our opinion of targets or quotas to improve the gender balance within organisations. 
Studies have shown that affirmative or positive action in the recruitment process leads to a change in the applicant pool. In fact the inclusion of some affirmative action, for example, stating the organisations target for women at senior levels has the effect of attracting more qualified women to the extent that it was almost never necessary to actually USE the affirmative action measure to get the desired gender balance. 
Targets and quotas are the subject of the ICE's Women in Engineering Debate on May 7th. WISE will be on the panel.

Special issue of the Notes and Records of the Royal Society: Women and Science
This special issue, for International Women's Day, brings together a collection of research papers presented at the WISRNet conference at the Royal Society in May 2014. Read the contents and details here to find out more.

Perceptions, attitudes and ambitions of the UK’s engineering professionals
The Matchtech 2014 Confidence Index is an annual survey of the perceptions, attitudes and ambitions of the UK’s engineering professionals. Now in its third year, the 2014 Confidence Index is the most comprehensive survey to date with contribution from over 3,500 engineers providing 16 sets of statistically significant sector results.

Tech Insights: The Digital Economy
Recent research by the Tech Partnership shows the digital economy is booming. However, just 17% of people employed in tech specialist roles across all industries are women, compared with 46% for the UK workforce as a whole. In the tech industry alone the figure falls to just 13%. Find out more and download the report

Ethnic Minorities in STEM Fact Sheet 
Race for Opportunity has produced a series of sector factsheets including one on ethnic minorities in STEM. There are a significant number of British BAME students who are specifically studying STEM-related subjects at UK universities - one fifth of all UK-domiciled STEM students are from a BAME background and as such, are an essential part of the UK STEM talent pipeline. This factsheet gives an insight to the choices made by our BAME STEM students by subject, location and gender as well as a preview of the secondary school pipeline. It is designed to offer organisations guidance on where to target recruitment campaigns.
Find out more and download the factsheet

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'Discover careers in Science' - Workshops for girls, parents and teachers
Liverpool - 23 March 
Oxford - 25 March
Media & Presentation Skills Course
Hosted by BCS Women and delivered by LeFevre Media
6 May, London
Mentoring - sharing good practice
WISE Knowledge Sharing Event
13 May, Salisbury
WISE Awards
We are delighted to announce that Bloomberg will once again be the Headline Sponsor for the 2015 WISE Awards and Conference.
12 November, London
ICE Yorkshire and Humber Women in Engineering Debate
Suzy Firkin from WISE will participate in this debate.
7 May, Sheffield
Welcome to Amec Foster Wheeler and all our new individual members
Alicia Southward: Apprentice at British Sugar
"As soon as I understood more about becoming an apprentice and the prospect of being able to earn and learn at the same time, the more I knew this route in to the world of work was definitely the one for me."
Read her blog 
Aero MSc Bursary Scheme
For STEM graduates and final year undergrads
Emerging Engineers Award
Closing date: 20 March
Poster abstracts by 25 March
Scholarship applications: 20 May
Honours, Medals and Awards
The Royal Aeronautical Society
Closing date: 31 March
Longitude Prize 2014
Closing date: 31 March
Women in IT Awards
Closing date: 28 August
Women in Business and Technology Scholarship
Closing date: 31 August
Women in Engineering Awards
Offers a £10,000 award to 30 selected female students
Closing date: August 2015
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