ENGENDERING STEM – Diversifying SMEs across Europe

ENGENDERING STEM is an exciting pan European collaboration between Equate Scotland, City of Glasgow College, and partners in the Netherlands (VHTO) and Basque Country (Miguel Altuna), funded through the Erasmus+ programme.

The project offers small to medium enterprises (SMEs) operating within the STEM sector the opportunity to showcase good practice in relation to equality and diversity. In addition to this, companies can also sign-up to participate in a free-to-use online self-assessment tool and one-to-one consultation support which will identify manageable and incremental steps employers can take to improve gender balance within their business.

With a rapidly growing STEM sector across Europe, and employers reporting significant skills shortages, it is vital that we look at ways to increase the participation of women in STEM. Across the UK we need up to 185,000 more engineers by 2024 (EngineeringUK 2017) and we have 12,800 digital technology opportunities every year (Skill Development Scotland 2017). However, women are woefully underrepresented in these sectors making up only 9% and 18% of the workforce respectively.

In addition to addressing the growing skills gap, there are robust business, legal and moral cases for improving gender diversity in companies. We know that where there are greater levels of diversity, companies experience greater returns on investment, equity and sales. Women’s equal participation in STEM is estimated to be worth £170 million to the Scottish economy annually.

There are a wide range of strategic interventions employers can make to encourage girls and women to pursue rewarding careers in STEM, and to remain and progress within them. These can include outreach activities in educational institutions, offering mentoring support in the workplace, and creating an attractive working environment through flexible working policies, to name but a few.

Companies participating in the ENGENDERING STEM project will enjoy a bespoke package of support to help them on the journey to improved gender balance in their workforce – this will include tailored recommendations for their company, as well as access to free resources, training and events.

We are inviting companies who have already taken steps to improve gender balance to share their stories through case studies, which will be presented in our series of ‘best practice’ guides. This represents a fantastic opportunity to showcase your company to a European audience.

To find out more about ENGENDERING STEM visit the website.

To find out how to submit a case study, please contact k.farmer@napier.ac.uk or upload your case study via the website.

What do you think about gender diversity in the workplace? Take part in our anonymous survey here.

If you would like to register to participate in the no-cost supported assessment process, please complete the ‘expression of interest’ form here.

For any further information, drop us a line here.

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