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The Princess Royal honours trail-blazing women and men in science, technology and engineering
10 November 2016
  
Eight women, one company and one man were recognised tonight for their outstanding contributions to gender balance in science, technology and engineering at a glittering ceremony in the Grand Connaught Rooms, London with HRH The Princess Royal and 500 guests. 
 
Presenting the Awards, HRH The Princess Royal, said: “Technology is transforming the world of work. If we want girls to have the best possible futures in these careers, we need to make sure they have the skills and qualifications required. More importantly, if we want the best possible future for our country, we need to be using the talents of the whole population.”
 
Helen Wollaston, chief executive of the campaigning organisation WISE, said: “Every year only 20,000 young women leave education with the qualifications to work in science, technology and engineering. That’s only 7% of those who take GCSE maths and science. I see that as a huge opportunity. Our winners show these girls the joy and rewards of science, technology and maths.”
 
“The winners are living proof of the contribution women make to innovation, safety and business performance.”
 
WISE chair and Microsoft managing director Trudy Norris-Grey was guest speaker at the event and issued a rallying cry to the dinner guests: “We are in the midst of the fourth revolution but girls are being left behind because too many drop maths and science at 16 – we must reverse this trend.  Men are taking up these new jobs at a much greater rate than women. Don’t stand on the sidelines, join us so that we can move forward at scale and at pace and not let girls and women be left behind.”

The winners included pioneering women Dr Ying Cheong, Professor Clare Elwell and Yvonne Bennett working in the fields of fertility, infant brain activation to help identify autism and neuro-linguistic programming to improve success rates of health and safety.  Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Anne-Gaelle Colom and Amali de Alwis were all recognised for the significant impact in encouraging other women in their organisations and wider – in microbial research, open source software and coding for girls.
 
Tom Jones was awarded the first ‘Man of the Year’ award for his ambassadorial work within Amec Foster Wheeler and the engineering industry. Amy Hart won the Rising Star award – an apprentice at HMRC her code contributions have helped more than 500,000 customers.  Sky was named Employer of the Year after transforming its graduate programme to create a 50:50 gender split in the business.  And Debbie Forster was awarded 'Woman of the Year' for enabling 20,000 female students to design their own apps.
 
Helen Wollaston added:  “These successes had three critical ingredients.  Leaders of these organisations recognise that getting more women into these careers is about good business, not some ‘nice to have’.  Clear goals have been set and measured.  They stood out for their energy and determination to make a difference, which is inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.”
WISE Awards Winners 2016
WISE International Open Source Award – sponsored by Bloomberg
WINNER: Anne-Gaelle Colom, Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster
Judges comments: Our winner is a generous pioneer in improving the accessibility of learning to program and making open source development less daunting and more inclusive. She has the capacity to light a fire under the next generation and go on to do more and more.

WISE Rising Star Award – sponsored by Intel
WINNER: Amy Hart, Apprentice Software Developer, HMRC
Judges comments: Our winner fell into a demanding STEM career without realising it and found it so rewarding she has gone on to inspire over 1000 young people already. We look forward to seeing what she does next!

 
WISE Hero Award – sponsored by Babcock
WINNER: Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor Swansea University
Judges comments: All the finalists in this category had amazing and diverse stories to tell but the winner was selected for her passion about change on a global level and without boundaries. Busy, visible and creative she brings together science and industry to improve lives.

 
WISE Health & Safety Award – sponsored by BAM Nuttall
WINNER: Yvonne Bennett, Group Head Never Harm CDP, Murphy Group
Judges comments: The winner in this category stood out for her innovative approach in a challenging environment. The judges were impressed with the impact statistics which were presented and wanted to acknowledge a relatively small company making a very big effort.

 
WISE Research Award – sponsored by Winton Capital
WINNER: Professor Clare Elwell, Professor of Medical Physics, University College London
Judges comments: The winner is a communicator and can engage anyone. She is undertaking ground-breaking research that is genuinely making a difference to society. She understands that engagement should happen at every level and is active in key areas from influencing young girls and young scientists, right through to professionals and academics on the international stage.

 
WISE Tech Start-Up Award – sponsored by Goldman Sachs
WINNER: Dr Ying Cheong, Associate Professor in Reproductive Medicine, University of Southampton
Judges comments: This winner has created a ground breaking, innovative technology product which uses a data driven approach to deliver better outcomes to an industry which lacks scientific rigour. The judges were impressed with the inspiration behind the idea and the level of thought leadership displayed.

WISE Employer Award – sponsored by AWE
WINNER: Sky
Judges comments: This company have amazing aspirations for their business and understand that gender balance is a business imperative. They have a dedicated resource looking for opportunities to drive change.  With an innovative perspective, they are an inspiring employer with a fresh and energetic approach.

 
WISE Impact Award – sponsored by Thales
WINNER: Amali de Alwis, CEO, Code First: Girls
Judges comments: The judges chose a community interest company creating a proven impact to give women new career opportunities as their winner in this category. The organisation is enabling a wide range of women and girls into the tech industries from a diverse range of educational backgrounds, at scale and with an amazing return on minimal resources.

 
WISE Woman of the Year Award – sponsored by Rolls-Royce PLC
WINNER: Debbie Forster, Co-CEO, Apps for Good
Judges comments: This year’s winner of Woman of the Year is an exceptional and inspirational woman. Her work and that of her organisation has far reaching influence to not only inspire increased diversity in business but also to help all generations overcome perception barriers.  She is an extraordinary role model.

 
WISE Man of the Year Award – jointly sponsored by McKinsey & Company
and The Royal Academy of Engineering
WINNER: Tom Jones, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Amec Foster Wheeler
Judges comments: In a very short timescale this winner has demonstrated significant impact within his own organisation after what he describes as a ‘light-bulb moment’ which drove him to take action. Focusing on top-down and bottom-up engagement to reinforce cultural change his approach is scalable and a great example to others.
Other WISE News
WISE welcomes new members
WISE would like to welcome new members Marine and Sea Cadets, Open University, Ramboll, Sparx, Transport for London and all our new individual members.
Launch of the WISE West Midlands Hub
WISE Educational Members Solihull College invite all STEM professionals, students, academics and businesses in the West Midlands and surrounding area to the launch of the WISE West Midlands Hub.

To register your interest in attending please email Ruth Frost.
Another chance to win
This years Semta Skills Awards includes the 'Diversity in engineering award', supported by WISE – for a company which has made a measureable difference to diversity by creating an inclusive workplace environment. 

Nominations are open until 30th November, find out more about the categories and nominate now!
The STEM Educational Pipeline
WISE analysis published today shows that there are potentially 50,000 young women lost from the STEM pipeline every year. Only 7% of young women that take STEM GCSEs will continue to achieve a core STEM qualification at Level 4 or above. This is compared to 21% of boys that continue to this level. WISE are calling on Government, media and schools to work together to address the issue.
Last chance to book
People Like Me is a revolutionary resource to enable effective outreach to inspire girls. Training for teachers, STEM ambassadors and outreach staff is available now. 2 sessions will take place in London on Tuesday 22nd November. There are limited spaces available. Don't miss out - book your place before 15th November for 10% early bird discount with the code 'Early_Bird'.
Join Careers in Engineering Campaign to launch in December
Mediaplanet are launching a national Careers in Engineering Campaign on 3rd December 2016 in association with WISE. The campaign will cover the work being done to inspire the next generation, bridging the skills gap and encouraging women into engineering. To get involved in the campaign, find out more here.
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