Expleo, an engineering technology and consultancy provider, is partnering with social enterprise outfit InnovateHer to encourage more young women in the North-West to take up careers in STEM.

As an employer of more than 1500 tech and engineering experts in the UK and 17,000 globally, Expleo is committed to developing the next generation of talent and is partnering with InnovateHer on its mission to drive greater diversity in the sector.

The partnership, sealed under the watchful gaze of Manchester’s Emmeline Pankhurst statue, is Expleo’s first investment in a social enterprise and will see it work with InnovateHer to develop and launch an in-school education programme later this year, which Expleo’s employees will be part of delivering.

A partnership to bring about better gender diversity

Jeff Hoyle, MD of Expleo in the UK and Global EVP Aero, Space and Defence, said: “For too long now there’s been a lack of support for young people, and especially women, looking to take up careers in tech and engineering.

“By working with InnovateHer we can reach young people and showcase the variety of careers open to them in our industry – along with highlighting the number of opportunities right here in the North-West and across the UK to realise their career ambitions.”

Expleo, which has its UK head-office in Preston, has grown rapidly since it formed in 2017, and partners with dozens of clients across 14 industries including aerospace, marine, automotive, BFSI and energy and utilities sectors. It is a significant regional employer of tech talent, with plans to grow its UK workforce to more than 1700 people by the end of the year.

Hoyle added: “We’re committed to increasing diversity at Expleo and we’re in it for the long-term. We’re investing now, to see the benefits tomorrow and by working with InnovateHer to get out there in local communities and connect our brilliant, passionate engineers to the region’s young people we’re hoping to make a big difference – who knows, we might light a spark in someone, who goes on to become our next Chief Engineer or Lead Data Scientist.”

InnovateHer is on a mission to get girls ready for the tech industry, and the industry ready for girls. It launched its first in-school programme in 2015 and since then has supported thousands of young people across the North-West.

Chelsea Slater, CEO, InnovateHer said: “Just 19% of the digital tech workforce in the UK is female, compared to 37% across all sectors. It’s well known that the gender gap costs industry time and money, but it also contributes to the challenges many companies face when sourcing talent, and ultimately contributes to widening the digital skills gap.”

“By working with partners like Expleo, we’re building a future where greater diversity and representation in tech and engineering will be the norm, not the exception. Through our mentoring programme and in-school education projects, we’re able to reach thousands of young people and help guide them towards life-changing opportunities.”

About InnovateHer

Established in 2013, InnovateHer is a small but mighty social enterprise that is on a mission to get girls ready for the tech industry, and the tech industry ready for girls. With just 19% of the UK tech force being women, its co-founder and CEO Chelsea Slater has lived experience of gender biases in the industry. Along with the rest of the team, Chelsea is passionate about closing the gender gap.

About Expleo

Expleo is a global engineering, technology and consulting service provider that partners with leading organisations to guide them through their business transformation, helping them achieve operational excellence and future-proof their businesses. Expleo boasts an extensive global footprint, powered by 17,000 highly-skilled experts delivering value in 30 countries and generating more than €1 billion in revenue.