New partnership launched to drive uptake of STEM careers

STEM Accord partners, taken at the WISE Conference 2019

A new partnership, the STEM Accord, has been established to provide coordinated actions to inspire more young people and particularly girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The STEM Accord has been created by WISE, the ERA Foundation, STEM Learning, Design and Technology Association (DATA) and the Smallpeice Trust, working in alignment with the Royal Academy of Engineering, Engineering UK and the IET and the recommendations of the Perkins Review.

Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive of WISE, the campaign for better gender balance in STEM, says:

“Despite hundreds of outreach programmes, most girls in this country still think that science, tech and engineering aren’t for them. We can’t allow this to continue. By joining forces, we will make sure that all girls and their families get the message that these subjects open doors to the jobs of the future”

Fran Dainty, Head of Content and STEM Expertise at STEM Learning, says:

“STEM Learning is delighted to be a key partner in STEM Accord, strengthening existing collaborations with our partner organisations and seeing the cumulative impacts of working together in inspiring more young people to consider STEM careers at the forefront of our work.”

Dr Jo Kennedy, Board Member of the ERA Foundation, adds:

“As far as we are aware this will be the first multi-organisation initiative to deliver STEM outreach to schools in line with the recommendations of the Perkins report, Engineering UK and the Royal Academy of Engineering. This collaboration is vital to provide more cohesive support to students, teachers and parents across the UK to ensure that as many young people as possible and particularly girls are inspired and understand the potential STEM careers that could be open to them.”

The STEM Accord aims to generate greater impact through more coordination across the existing effective outreach programmes run by the founder member organisations.

This approach is a key part of WISE’s 2019 action plan for creating future skills for the UK. The manifesto takes a holistic approach to improve gender balance in STEM, from classroom to boardroom. Alongside the work as part of the STEM Accord, WISE’s priorities for 2019 are:   

  1. Ensuring that women have the opportunities to retrain or return to STEM careers at all stages of their careers. This includes a call to action for employers, Government and universities, to provide training for women to take up jobs in technology, to ensure that, as a priority, women are able to access life-long learning opportunities to retrain and re-skill in STEM.
  2. Working together with business and industry, through WISE’s Ten Steps business programme, to help them show leadership by improving the representation of women in technical and management roles.

Helen explains:

“Technology is transforming our lives and yet more than 80% of those working in technology are men. If we don’t address this now, women will miss out on the best paid jobs, businesses will struggle to find people to fill technical roles and who knows what future generations will miss if women don’t play their full part in shaping our future world.

“We know that industry, education and the Government have a shared objective here – to encourage more girls into STEM and provide opportunities for them throughout their careers. It makes sense for us to work together to create sustainable change. We must all take ownership, because we all have a contribution to make to ensure that the UK has the necessary STEM skills for the future.”

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