International Women Into Engineering Day on Thursday 23 June 2022 has been chosen as the perfect launch date of the next phase of activity for Women into STEM!
The project – which is led by West College Scotland in partnership with Forth Valley College and Equate Scotland – is gearing up for an exciting second phase after a full year of encouraging more female representation into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics roles.
Plans for the next 12 months include a Women into STEM bespoke website landing page which is set to be launched very soon!
Funded by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) the dynamic initiative were quick to welcome Equate Scotland and Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) on board after launching in April 2021. Equate have been busy engaging with employers and apprentices and YES have delivered engagement activities in secondary schools in Renfrewshire and Forth Valley.
During February and March 2022, YES ran eight virtual STEM workshops (four in Renfrewshire and four in Forth Valley) for S5 and S6 pupils. The workshops were interactive, with guest speakers from STEM related sectors. The overall purpose was to raise awareness and encourage the pupils to create marketing messages to help their peer group consider STEM subjects and career pathways with confidence.
The sessions culminated in an online ‘Women into STEM’ showcase and schools involved included: Trinity High School and Paisley Grammar School in Renfrewshire and Braes High School in Forth Valley – whose fantastic and thought provoking STEM Marketing Campaigns will be available on the new landing page.
The Women into STEM Project – which will run to 31 march 2023 – has been working with Equate Scotland to work with stakeholders, employers and partners to develop awareness, access, and participation for young women to thrive within STEM activities and pathways. The initiative also hopes to develop sustainable Apprenticeship Pathways, and recruit, prepare, and progress female pupils aged between 16-24 into STEM careers – including into Engineering Modern Apprenticeships – across the West of Scotland and the Forth Valley area.
Working alongside employers such as Howdens, Scotrail, Diodes, Alexander Dennis Ltd, Ineos, and Petrofac, Women in STEM has been looking to understand and challenge stereotypes and develop the early years parts of this pipeline, to impact upon attitudinal and cultural change. The project hopes to make inclusive workplaces the norm not the exception and support female apprentices to build their peer support network with access to role models at the very start of their career, encouraging the apprentices to think about the challenges and opportunities, developing their confidence and the skills to succeed.
Morven McColl, Programme Executive, Young Enterprise Scotland, said: “Over the course of four weeks of the virtual STEM workshops, I delivered workshops to support the girls in developing a marketing campaign that would encourage more young women into STEM based careers. It was a delight to work with these fantastic, driven young women through the project and I was so impressed by the levels of dedication, creativity and enthusiasm shown. The final marketing campaigns were of a high standard; I think this demonstrates why getting young people themselves to create messaging that will attract their peers is so valuable. Who better to influence girls interested in STEM than their peers?”
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