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WISE Conference 2014

Time for Action: The STEM workforce we want to build for the next 30 years

Thursday 13 November
The Southbank Centre, London

View all the photos of the event

To celebrate the 30th year of WISE we hosted a daytime programme of presentations, panel discussions and workshops in November 2014 looking forward to the STEM workforce of the future. Delivered at the Southbank Centre and supported by Bloomberg, it was the perfect event to compliment the WISE Awards ceremony held the same evening. The conference was hugely popular with high profile speakers, pledges to take action and an animated and engaged audience. Find out more below, and look out for details of the WISE Conference 2015.

Panel Discussion

How do we get one million more women working in STEM?

Panel Discussion

Left to Right:

Mark Richard - Senior Vice President Europe & Sub Saharan Africa, ESG MGT - Halliburton,Graham Hopkins - EVP Engineering & Technology - Aerospace Division - Rolls-Royce, Trudy Norris-Grey - WISE Chair and General Manager, Central and Eastern Europe - Microsoft, Imran Khan - Chief Executive - British Science Association, Katherine Oliver - Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment NYC - Bloomberg, Anna Edwards (moderator) - currently working at Bloomberg in London as co-anchor of the morning show Countdown.

This was an extremely thought provoking discussion involving expert panelists representing Technology, the Oil and Gas Industry, the British Science Association and Engineering. The discussion centered on how we get 1 million more women into STEM to 30% of the STEM workforce. The discussion covered unconscious bias, challenging the workplace culture, media influence and the importance of networking and collaboration.

Watch the Panel Discussion Video

Launch of 'Not for people like me?'

averil.jpgIn a report for WISE, sponsored by Network Rail, Professor Averil Macdonald explains why STEM outreach and engagement activities have a limited impact on girls and other young people who are under-represented in the STEM workforce. The report recommends a fresh approach - focusing on the types of people who succeed in science, technology and engineering - using adjectives to describe their personalities and aptitudes, rather than the jobs themselves.

Find out more about the report and download

View the presentation

Read Averil's blog 'STEM-identity: Why have we spent 30 years getting it wrong?'


'If you want change, why not recruit apprentices?'

Delivered by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)


This insightful workshop was led by Andrew Stanley, Head of Education Policy, ICE. The panel comprised 5 inspirational young apprentices, Regina Tumblepot, Kirpalta Lochan, Fatima Alghali, Charlotte Holt & Sophie Sutton. All were passionate about the work they were now doing and spoke highly of their career in engineering. However all had stumbled across engineering by recommendations from family or friends as an alternative to try rather than a deliberate clear career choice. The apprenticeship route, although extremely rewarding has the stigma attached of being a lesser alternative to the graduate route. Attitudes towards this educational path need to change in order to drive growth that Britain so desperately needs and fill the skills shortage.

View the presentation

'Women in Engineering & the girls in engineering challenge'

Delivered by AWE

samanthamcrae-awe-web.jpgWomen in Engineering & girls in Engineering challenge workshop was facilitated by Helen Smith, Talent Management Specialist at AWE. The panel comprised of Samantha McRae (WISE Apprentice shortlisted nominee) Mechanical Maintenance Apprentice, Kerry Barker, Electronics Engineer and Alison Atkinson, Civil Engineer. All spoke highly about their chosen career paths in engineering. Both Kerry and Alison, with 20+ years in the field, eloquently described their rewarding careers in Engineering. Samantha a young apprentice spoke passionately how she had been encouraged and supported by her family and friends to pursue her a career in Engineering.

'10 steps to heaven' and retention of women in the STEM workforce

Delivered by Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) & Atkins


This workshop was led by Jenny Young and Kelly Kilby. The presentation covered the Ten Point Plan and the importance of encouraging more signatories to join. 

The presentation continued with a breakdown of the work done by Atkins to encourage greater gender balance in the workforce by measuring the impact of various strategies implemented over the last few years.

View the presentation

WISE Young Women’s Board Feedback

Supported by Intel

Lucy Collins

Lucy Collins commented and gave feedback on the day. Lucy is a member of the WISE Young Women’s Board and Naval Architect at the Ministry of Defence on secondment to University College London.

Read her presentation with comments and feedback from the day

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