Every Thursday at 2pm, students are able to join a virtual Industry Insight Talk, hosted by Activate Learning Education Trust (ALET).

On Thursday 14 May, the talk focused on Women in STEM. On the panel were four very successful women, all in STEM careers. These were Louisa Wilson, Senior Principal Engineer at Arm, Grace Fenemore, third-year Mechanical Engineering Apprentice for STFC/UKRI, Beth Probert, Graduate Apprentice at Altran UK’s Intelligent Systems Expertise Centre and Gisela Rossi, Software Engineer working for Tessian.

Women have historically been underrepresented in STEM industries. In 2016, the percentage of female employees in the STEM industry was at 19%; it is now around 23%, but there is still a long way to go.

A lot of the background of this underrepresentation is due to unconscious bias and social stereotypes that we all see from a young age, these often reinforce our beliefs in what we can and should do.

The more positive female role models students see, the more likely they are to believe that they can do anything they want or put their minds to.

Three of the speakers, Louisa, Gisela and Beth, are all Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Role Models, and as such, talk to hundreds of young people each year about their careers and what they do in events such as My Skills My Life.

In this Industry Insight Talk, each speaker discussed their role and how they got into it, as well as answering questions including how to keep up to date with the fast pace of the development of technologies and what helps them deal with the pressure of their job.

Beth Probert, said: “I really enjoyed speaking with the students! It was great to chat to students who wanted to learn more about future careers, and to share my journey with them. I hope they found the talk fun and useful, and that they all continue to engage with STEM as they progress into the next stages of their lives. The world is their oyster!”