Equate Scotland, in partnership with Prospect (the trade union for professionals) and funded by The Scottish Government, has been working on supporting experienced women back into the STEM sector since 2015. It is estimated that 73% of women who graduate with STEM qualifications in Scotland do not stay in the sectors long term and across the UK it is estimated that there are 427,000 women currently on career break who wish to return to work at some point in the future. With a growing skills shortage, supporting women back into STEM makes significant economic sense.
Our latest project which completed in March 2018 worked with 20 women at different stages of returning to work and successfully supported over 60% onto placements, full time work in STEM or pursuing further STEM qualifications. The project provided numerous employers with a range of benefits, most importantly, skills and expertise they needed.
Joe McGuigan, EDF Energy: “Getting in touch with Equate was the enabler to take me from ‘I’d be really interested but don’t know how that would work’ to ‘I know I’ve got somebody to walk me through the steps’…Already you can see Julie [woman returner] is really keen to get going, really keen to get involved and already making an impact, so it’s been great for me and great for EDF Energy.”
Julie, Woman Returner: “I’d had ten years in STEM prior to starting a family, but it was a while ago, and I thought I was out-of-date. I came across Equate and it started to become possible to think about going back. I found great support from the women running the programme, making me realise my strengths and improve my professional profile. I finally got a job!”