According to research, only 15% of engineering graduates are female. As part of Schneider Electric, we address that gap in female representation in engineering, given the clear benefits not just for better business, but for sustainability which is at the heart of everything we do.
In fact, supporting young women and girls in entering STEM careers supports no less than 5 separate goals in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN.
Drayton’s Women in Industry Day 2023
This month, we hosted our annual Women in Industry Day here in Plymouth, where our own STEM ambassador team invites local school groups of girls to visit our site and take part in activities that highlight just some of many roles available in STEM careers, to young people who may have never before considered it or believed they had the ability to pursue it.
Pupils listen to presentations by our STEM ambassador team and, this year, representatives of The Engineering Development Trust (EDT) and their Industrial Cadets program, which works tirelessly to connect students with industry.
Each school group is taken on a factory tour to see our production lines, meet our staff, and understand how different areas of the factory and offices interact.
Finally, students took part in an always-popular product design activity that represents a common STEM project. Inspired by Wiser, we asked them to come up with unique product concepts, decide on its features, consider the target audience, and decide how to market it, requiring a mixture of creativity, teamwork, practical skills and presenting.
Our feedback from pupils and their teachers continues to be very positive and we’re proud to have once again given local students this opportunity to find out more about the wide variety within STEM careers, which has even inspired one or two to apply for work experience here in Plymouth. We look forward to seeing them back soon!
What Are the Issues Women Face in STEM?
There still exist several challenges that prevent women and girls from entering and progressing in STEM careers:
- Lack of education around the wide variety of roles available in STEM
- Persistent gender bias that undermines women’s potential
- Generally lower self confidence in their own abilities and skills
- Lack of mentorship, guidance, and role models from other women in STEM, though this is gradually improving
- Inadequate flexibility to achieve work-life balance for women with families
What Are the Benefits of More Women in STEM?
The benefits of including more women in STEM positions include, to name just a few:
- Enhances women’s economic independence and security
- Ensures distribution of talent throughout the STEM workforce
- Including both women and men in decision-making improves outcomes
- Prevents gender bias and improves safety of the products and services being produced
- Reduces the gender pay gap and increases GDP
- Results in more positive role models for young women and girls
- Empowers women and improves confidence across all generations
STEM Career Opportunities in Plymouth
Want to find out more about our STEM events and activities? Contact our STEM ambassador team at firstname.lastname@example.org