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Have you re-entered the STEM sector after a career break? Help STEM Returners understand the challenges faced by those returning to work

woman working on her laptop, searching for new jobs, returning to work, WeAreTechWomen jobs

Have you returned to the STEM sector following a career break? Tell STEM Returners about your experiences.

STEM Returners has launched its annual survey to understand STEM professionals’ experiences of trying to re-enter the sector after a career break.

The STEM Returners Index is open to all STEM professions who have had a gap in their career or who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work.

The survey is anonymous and will ask a variety of questions including reasons for a career break, what challenges were faced when attempting to return to work and what impact COVID-19 had on finding a role.

This is the third Index launched by STEM Returners, which returns highly qualified and experienced STEM professionals to work after a career break by working with employers to facilitate paid short-term employment placements.

STEM Returners was set up by Natalie Desty in 2017 after she saw how hard it was for STEM professionals who had been out of employment for a period of time, to re-enter their profession.

Natalie DestySpeaking about the survey Natalie said, “We know that the UK engineering industry needs hundreds of engineers annually to keep up with demand, but despite this need, there is a pool of STEM professionals on a career break who find it incredibly challenging to return to work – recruitment bias being the main barrier to entry.”

“We want to get more insight into the challenges STEM professionals face when wanting to return to work and how the last two years of the pandemic has effected that process.”

“We can use this valuable information to work with employers and improve their recruitment processes and enable them to see that a gap on someone’s CV does not automatically lead to a deterioration of skills.”

“I would like to personally encourage any STEM professional who has had a career break to take part in the survey and tell us about their experiences.”

“Our last Index had more than 750 respondents, this year we’d like to get more than 1000.”

The 2022 STEM Returners Index will be open until 30 April 2022.

TAKE THE SURVEY

In last year’s survey, both men (39 per cent) and women (43 per cent) said they felt they had personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to a perceived lack of recent experience.

Nearly a third of female respondents said they had personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their gender while 22 per cent of respondents said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their race or ethnicity. Additionally, 67 per cent of BME respondents said they are finding it difficult or very difficult to return to work.

The STEM Returners’ programme aims to eliminate these barriers, by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement and helping them to seamlessly adjust to life back in work. Programmes have been set up with internationally renowned firms including BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Babcock International and SSE, with more than 200 candidates joining programmes across the UK.

Katie Ireland, STEM ReturnersGeoscientist Katie Ireland made the difficult decision to leave her role to focus on raising her children.

As her children began to get older, she wanted to return to the role she loved. But unfortunately, returning to work after a break was not an easy process.

Instead of recognising that Katie’s time out had made her a more rounded geoscientist, the career break penalty meant she faced rejection when trying to re-enter the industry.

She explained: “My five-year career break had a major impact on how I viewed myself and ultimately my confidence. My confidence was at an all-time low, my memory and ability to retain information was poor and this didn’t come across well. It was hard to explain to others and so difficult for them to empathise.

“I came across the STEM Returners role with Ørsted and thought the term “STEM Returner” perfectly described what I was trying to do.”

Katie took part in a returners programme with Ørsted and has now been made a permanent member of staff. With decarbonisation and the move towards renewable energy, Katie’s career path will be one that is well-trodden over the coming years in STEM.

“The opportunity (at Ørsted) has changed my career in so many ways. Not only has it allowed me to return to work after a career break, but it has given me the chance to transition from oil and gas to the renewables sector.”

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Women in tech: There's still time to tell us about your career & the challenges you face!

Calling all women in tech – there’s still time to tell us about your career and the challenges you face!

WeAreTechWomen have partnered with leading research firm, Ipsos MORI & Tech Talent Charter to conduct a survey to discover the barriers faced by women working in technology.

You have until 10 September 2021 to get your responses in and help us to understand how you feel as a woman in tech and the challenges you face around career progression.

A summary of the survey results will be published alongside a set of recommendations to organisations to help them to understand these challenges and to think about how they can put in to place initiatives to support the career progression of their female technologists.

The survey responses are anonymous and your data will not be shared publicly.

SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED

In Partnership With

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TechWomen100

Nominations are now open

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way. Nominations are now open until 10 September 2021.

CAST YOUR NOMINATIONS

Calling all women in tech! We want to hear about you and your career

Calling all women in tech – we want to hear about you and your career!

WeAreTechWomen have partnered with leading research firm, Ipsos MORI & Tech Talent Charter to conduct a survey to discover the barriers faced by women working in technology.

The results of this survey will enable us to understand how you feel as a woman in tech and the challenges you face around career progression.

A summary of the survey results will be published alongside a set of recommendations to organisations to help them to understand these challenges and to think about how they can put in to place initiatives to support the career progression of their female technologists.

The survey responses are anonymous and your data will not be shared publicly.


In Partnership With

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Female engineers are more likely to be victims of recruitment bias when trying to get back to work

woman wearing a white lab coat working on an engineering project, International Women in Engineering Day

Women trying to return to the engineering industry after a career break are more likely to experience recruitment bias than men, according to a survey by STEM Returners.

The survey, published on International Women in Engineering Day, showed 27% of women feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their gender, compared to 8% of men. Furthermore, 30% of women said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to childcare responsibilities compared to 6% of men.

STEM Returners, based in Hampshire, is an organisation which returns highly qualified and experienced STEM professionals after a career break by working with employers to facilitate paid short-term employment placements. More than 150 engineers have returned to work through the scheme.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, said: “The UK engineering industry needs to recruit 182,000 engineers annually to keep up with demand – this is not news. But despite this very clear and desperate skills shortage, 61% of STEM professionals on a career break are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult and women are bearing the brunt of this challenge.

“There is a perception that a career break automatically leads to a deterioration of skills. But the reality is, that many people on a career break keep themselves up to date with their industry, are able to refresh their skills easily when back in work and have developed new transferable skills that would actually benefit their employers.

“STEM organisations are clearly missing a major opportunity to get highly skilled, talented females back into the industry.”

The STEM Returners Index, which was carried out in collaboration with the Women’s Engineering Society, surveyed a group of more than 750 STEM professionals on a career break who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work.

More than half of respondents looking to return to work have been on a career break for less than two years and around 36% of returners felt that bias in the recruitment process was a barrier to them personally returning to their career.

The survey revealed that the pool of STEM professionals attempting to return to industry is significantly more diverse than the average STEM organisation. Over half of the survey respondents attempting to return to work were female and 38% were from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, compared to 8% female and 6% BME working in industry.

In the survey 22% of respondents said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their race or ethnicity, while 67% of BME respondents said they are finding it difficult or very difficult to return to work, compared to 57% white British respondents.

Elizabeth Donnelly, CEO of the Women’s Engineering Society said: “Sadly, while the results of this survey are concerning, they are not surprising. We have seen that worryingly, STEM professionals from under-represented ethnicities find it more difficult to return to work and additionally, women are six times more likely to state that a lack of flexibility in working hours to allow for childcare responsibilities is a barrier to return.

“Many of these professionals took a career break for reasons outside of their control, but now, due to changing circumstances, are ready to get back to work. They are a highly educated, highly experienced and highly diverse group of STEM professionals who should not be overlooked. STEM organisations, industry leaders and hiring managers need to take note and think more broadly about how they access this hidden talent pool, giving talented professionals a fair chance.”

Haley StoreyHaley Storey, from Hampshire, is now in an engineering role after being away from the industry for 17 years. Haley took part in one of STEM Returners programmes with BAE Systems based in Portsmouth. After completing a 12-week placement working on a Type 45 Destroyer, she has now joined the company permanently as a Project Engineer, helping to find engineering solutions during ship maintenance or upkeep periods.

“I left my role as a production manager in 2003 when I started my family,” Haley said. “I was self-employed after that but as my role wasn’t related to engineering, I couldn’t see a way to get back in when I wanted to restart my career.

“The STEM Returner scheme seemed to be directed at people just like me – someone who had previously been in a technical job but had been away for a period of time.

“My CV would probably not have made the first round of the recruitment process, but the scheme enabled me to work alongside an experienced engineer and I was able to learn from him and get to grips with the workings of a large organisation. 

“Career breaks should not put good people at the bottom of the list – we still have ability, knowledge and often transferable skills so it would be great for that to be recognised.”

Rebecca Pearce, BAE Systems Maritime Services, added: “Over the years we’ve recruited fantastic talent that we wouldn’t normally have had access to. We really want to celebrate the success and calibre of candidates we’ve recruited through the STEM Returner programme, and to recommend that more people use this method of recruitment.”

To read the full report, click here.


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here

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Could you help Birkbeck, University of London & Genius Within in their Autism at Work study?

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Could you help Birkbeck, University of London & Genius Within understand the employment picture in the UK, USA and Australia, where Autism At Work programs are popular?

The aim of the study is to explore the experience of people who are part of Autism at Work specific programs and compare this to the experience of autistic people who are not part of these programs.

Taking part

Birkbeck, University of London & Genius Within are looking for autistic adults to take part. If you would like to be involved in the study, please complete the questionnaire here. This should take approximately 15 minutes.

Upon completion, you will be provided with a debrief. You may also decide to volunteer for follow up interviewing to share your experiences. If so, you can provide contact details at the end of the questionnaire. If you don't, your contact details will not be collected and you will remain anonymous.

Data collected in this study will be analysed and used for research, publication and policy guidance for employers.

COMPLETE THE SURVEY


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


City Hall Charter for Emerging Technology survey

Are you interested in new technology and innovation in London? City Hall needs to hear from you

City Hall Charter for Emerging Technology survey

London has a great track record for innovation, from contactless payments on transport to the Met Police’s largest body-worn camera roll out in Europe.

In the future, better connectivity and faster access to data via 5G technology are likely to increase the development of new technology and applications even more.

City Hall is developing a Charter for Emerging Technology with expectations for both Londoners and innovators and they want to hear from you.

It’s important that Londoners have a voice in these new developments, and that innovators have a place to sense-check their new technologies. Public trust in new technology will only happen when its trial and deployment is done so openly and transparently, and innovators will only be able to respond to the needs of citizens if they listen

City Hall want to hear from you!

How do you feel about new technology and innovation in London? What impact do you think technological innovations will have on your life?

This survey will take a few minutes to complete and once you’ve finished the survey, you’ll be redirected to the discussions where you can continue the conversation on new technologies and the draft charter’s four principles.

TAKE PART AND SHARE YOUR VIEWS HERE


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Virtual events could be a step in achieving greater inclusivity for women in tech

watching a virtual conference on a laptop, zoom call, video call, virtual events

Virtual events could be a step in achieving greater inclusivity for women in tech if biased features maintained by in-person conferences are eliminated, according to new data.

Ensono, a leading hybrid IT services provider, today released the findings of its second annual research report, “Speak Up: Redesigning Tech Conferences With Women in Mind.

As digital events have become the new normal due to the impact of COVID-19, the report signals how virtual conferences can provide a stepping stone for women to achieve gender parity in the tech industry if biased conference amenities are eliminated. For women of colour, this disparity is even greater, and companies are responsible for diversity and inclusion efforts that challenge routine procedure.

The report found that 71 per cent of women who have given a keynote said conferences are not designed with women in mind. The report also found that on average, women of colour only make up eight per cent of keynote speakers at tech conferences over the last three years. 61 per cent of the women surveyed said their company is more likely to send a man to a tech conference than a woman.

Ensono surveyed 500 women across the US and UK who attended a tech conference in 2019 to uncover their experiences surrounding discrimination based on gender, race and sexual orientation at industry events. The report also includes an audit of the same 18 major technology conferences as last year’s report to identify change in the representation of female keynote speakers at tech conferences.

Speaking about the report, Meredith Graham, Senior Vice President of Culture and People Experience at Ensono, said, "This year’s report comes at a tipping point for the tech industry, and the spirit of change has never been stronger.”

“While we never could have predicted how 2020 would unfold, now is the time to implement change and create cultures that champion diversity and inclusion, not only in tech but across industries.”

"One of the organisers thought I was there to refill coffee — I was actually giving a keynote," said an Ensono survey respondent.

The report also outlines data surrounding the lack of accommodations at tech events for women, like rooms for nursing mothers, as well as biased design features, like podiums or projectors sized for much taller men. It also provides actionable takeaways for companies to better equip their female associates to attend both in-person and virtual events, such as investing in internal resources that vet conferences and transmit attendee feedback.

“Although the overhaul of in-person conferences has increased the opportunity for women to gain representation at tech conferences and have better experiences, it doesn’t stop there,” said Lin Classon, vice president of product management at Ensono. “The industry still has a long way to go, but it’s research like this that provides companies with data and tools to initiate change.”


WeAreTheCity covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in business, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


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2019 Cybersecurity Professionals Salary, Skills and Stress Survey | Exabeam

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The Exabeam 2019 Cybersecurity Professionals Salary, Skills and Stress report is based on a global survey of 479 security professionals.

The purpose of the survey was to gain insight on trends in the salaries of security professionals, education levels, job satisfaction and attitudes toward innovative and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

DOWNLOAD HERE


Deloitte & Institute of Coding survey featured

Could you help Deloitte understand what motivates people to take up (or not) digital careers? Take the survey here

Deloitte & IoC survey

As part of their work with the Institute of Coding, Deloitte is undertaking some research to help understand what motivates people to take up (or not!) digital careers.

The first phase of the research is a short online survey which will take no more than 15 minutes of your time to complete. The survey is anonymous and requires no personal or company information to be shared.

The survey is looking for a variety of genders, ethnicities and ages to participate, as well as both those working in digital and those that do not.

The closing date for the survey is 06 September 2019.

By completing the survey, you will help to shape the diversity campaign for the IoC.

TAKE THE SURVEY

Deloitte & Institute of Coding


Tech Returners and Manchester Business School launch survey - can you help?

Tech is a field that requires constant education.

There’s always something new to learn, and if you take a break from your career it can be a challenge to catch up. That’s where Tech Returners comes in.

Tech Returners provides resources, development tools, and creates fresh opportunities for people returning/entering tech after a career break.  The Talent Skills gap in tech is top of the Northern Powerhouse’s agenda . This has placed a focus on untapping a talent pool of those returning to the sector.

Tech Returners provide support in four key areas:

Discover – Helping returners to understand their skillset, and identify relevant development areas

Develop – Engaging returners with resources, tools, and courses to enable further learning

Network – Connecting returners with an active support network

Career – Providing flexible, exciting career opportunities

There is currently no data that analyses the impact of career breaks on female returners and the economic impact of this talent pool. Tech Returners, with the help of Manchester Business School are aiming to close this data gap.  They are looking to survey up to 1000 respondents consisting of UK women in tech and UK based employers recruiting tech roles.

Can you spare five minutes of your time to complete the survey?  There are two survey’s, one for women currently working in tech and one for employers.  See links below and help Tech Returners and Manchester Business School to discover insights to drive change in the industry.

Women in tech survey link: https://lnkd.in/ehKzpbM

Employers of tech roles survey link : https://lnkd.in/eiu3QqK

For more information, please contact Beckie Taylor at Tech Returners