West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

30 November 2017

Positive steps at Women In STEM workshop

Over 30 businesses, trade bodies and training providers attended WYCC’s Women In STEM workshop in November.

Helen Wollaston, WISE CEO

Delegates contributed to the designs of a Leeds City Region-wide training programme.

As part of the Reach Higher project, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the consortium will continue to work with organisations like these to enable more women working in STEM industries to progress.

The event, held at Leeds City College, Printworks Campus, explored some of the opportunities and barriers to running a successful initiative. The attendees discussed how they could work collectively to genuinely encourage more women to achieve real results if they want to progress, or grow their skills in this area.

Opening the event, Louise Tearle, Partnership Director at WYCC said, “It’s fantastic to see such a diverse network and breadth of skills and experience contributing to solutions to improve the number of women in STEM.”

Rachael Atkin, Community Development Manager for Robertson Construction has been working with WYCC to open up the conversation on Women In STEM and attended the workshop.

Rachael said, “Robertson are committed to increasing the number of women in our business, and supporting their progression. This is the start of an exciting journey, working with enthusiastic partners across numerous sectors to deliver a response bespoke to Leeds City Region that can be replicated in other communities.”

Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive of the Women Into Science and Engineering campaign spoke at the event, she said “While it’s important to encourage girls to take an interest in STEM subjects at an early stage it can take a long time for the impact to take effect in industry. To fill vacancies now, it makes perfect sense to offer more training for women already in work. This can allow them to progress or change career. This event and project promises to be much needed and worthwhile”

Dr Joanne Harvatt, Project Manager at WYCC organised the event and is currently analysing the results of the workshop. Joanne will lead on the next steps to implement a training programme in the 2018. She said, “I’m delighted by the opportunity to strategically develop and deliver a sector-wide response that will make a tangible difference to the numbers of women in STEM, putting our findings from today into action.”

If you are interested in working to improve training opportunities for women in STEM industries, please contact joanne.harvatt@westyorkshirecolleges.ac.uk

The project either has received £3.5million of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding .

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