Recommended Event: 21/09/2021: Exploring Pathways into Tech Careers | WISE

WISE, London Tech Week event

New WISE research reveals how widening career pathways into Tech roles could increase diversity and address the digital skills gap.

Join WISE for a panel discussion with senior figures from UK Tech exploring the results of our latest research and what it means employers trying to close the digital skills gap. Our event will explore how non-linear career pathways into tech roles provide an opportunity for employers to find the talented, diverse people they need to futureproof tomorrow’s workforce. Year on year, WISE data has shown an increase in the number of girls studying computing, as well as the number of women employed in tech roles – 17% of the tech workforce. Although these positive trends are encouraging, WISE members are increasingly concerned about the current skills gap in tech and digital technology roles as well as the persistent gender imbalance in the tech workforce. Earlier this year WISE launched a new research project to form the first step in supporting employers to close the digital skills gap. Join us on the 21st September at our online panel event as we present the findings of our UK-wide tech research and next steps for employers with the launch of our research report as part of London Tech Week.

This free online event is open to all.


Looking for more events or networking opportunities? WeAreTechWomen has a dedicated events calendar with thousands of different events to help broaden your network and learn new skills. We have also launched WeAreVirtual - a series of free webinars to help expand your learning online.  

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WISE 1 Million Women in STEM

Join WISE & celebrate one million women in STEM

WISE 1 Million Women in STEM

Join WISE and help celebrate the one million women working in core STEM roles across the UK and inspire more women.

WISE has been working towards the goal of 1 million women in STEM for the past five years. Thanks to the focused efforts of role models, organisations and champions of gender balance in STEM, this number has finally been achieved.

WISE are now inviting you to celebrate and take part in their newly launched 1 of the Million campaign - an inclusive, digital campaign that aims to inspire and celebrate the real faces behind the million women in STEM.

The 1 of the Million Campaign encourages women working in STEM to share their story - and those of their friends, mentors or colleagues - in order to celebrate the brilliant contributions women make through science, technology, engineering and maths.By putting a face to the million, the campaign aims to inspire more women to pursue, return to, or retrain in STEM. This is a celebration for everyone and we encourage everyone to take part. If you’re a woman in STEM, in any company, sector or part of the UK, we want to hear from you.

How you can get involved

Help WISE put a face to the million

Encourage women who work in STEM at your business to take part in the campaign – ask them share their photo and story to our webpage so that they can be included in WISE's interactive photo collage.

Help WISE spread the word

Show that your company supports more women in STEM by sharing 1 of the Million campaign material on your website and social media channels throughout the year - a logo, supporter sign and social media frames are included in our pack.

Take part in the #1ofTheMillion Day

Motivate your colleagues and take part in our #1ofTheMillion day on Twitter. Snap a selfie with our #1ofTheMillion sign, tell us why you are passionate about gender balance in STEM and post your image to Twitter using #1ofTheMillion and tagging @thewisecampaign.

If you're not a woman in STEM, you can still take part

Post a picture with our Proud to Support #1ofTheMillion Sign and tell us why you and / or your company support gender balance in STEM.





WISE calls on industry to inspire girls to choose STEM roles


WISE Role Model campaign My Skills My Life

As WISE, the campaign to improve gender balance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), launches a new online game called My Skills My Life, it is calling on industry to help change the way girls see STEM subjects and how they relate to careers that make a difference to the world.

The call comes in response to research showing serious gaps in STEM roles; a recent survey of HR Directors suggests there is a shortage of 173,400 STEM workers across the UK, costing the economy £1.5bn each year.

Speaking about the campaign, Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive Officer for WISE, said,  “At A Level, only one in ten computer science students and one in five physics students are female."

"When you take out health, fewer than one in five of science, technology and engineering jobs in the UK are held by women."

"We simply have to get better at showing girls that maths, science and technology open doors to exciting, well-paid jobs where they can make a real difference to the world.”

My Skills My Life, for girls between 11-19, was developed to address the stereotype that science, engineering and technology are more suited to boys than girls. The game helps girls to identify their personality types, shows them the types of roles in STEM that they could do, and matches them to role models who share their personality type to learn more about STEM careers.

Helen continues, “The game uses mobile technology to connect girls with young women who have found great jobs using science, technology or maths."

"It is a simple, modern solution, accessible to every teenage girl in the country.”

WISE is calling for more role models and for businesses to help spread the word about My Skills My Life to help it achieve its ambition to reach 200,000 girls. As well as its new game, WISE, supported by its members, provides schools with career workshops delivered by real-life female scientists, technologists and engineers.

Jacqueline de Rojas, CBE, President of techUK said, “There appears to be an appetite for change in various sectors, some more so than others."

"By getting behind campaigns such as WISE’s, we build on this appetite and put into play the things that research is now showing can make a difference, from providing more role models for young girls to changing the language used in job descriptions and adverts."

"These professions are creating some of the biggest changes that our society has seen and we need to excite and inspire our future generations so that they want to be part of them.”

The resource has been developed with generous support from sponsors including Broadcom, Goldman Sachs Gives, BAE Systems, Network Rail, the UK Space Agency, techUK, and the National Skills Academy for Rail.

Threat of quotas and transparency needed to solve lack of women in Stem dilemma

A strong threat of quotas and transparency amongst businesses is necessary to move the dial on gender diversity in Science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) roles, according to a panel of experts at the WISE Conference 2015.

Speaking at the event, which took place at The Mermaid in Blackfriars, Trudy Norris-Grey, WISE Chair and managing director of Microsoft's public sector business said: “If I get given a target at work, I go after it. If you get a diversity target and continue to review the target, then you start to get a change in the culture. It’s not for fairness sake, but for business. A target should be put on the agenda and the numbers should be published.WISE_awards_logo

“Tokenism is a thing of the past. Business now there is a war for talent, so a target is a good start to encourage the women to line up for these great roles and they intern will become role models for other girls. I have an allergic reaction to anything mandatory. However, businesses need a very open threat. If you don’t do it, I will impose quotas. Do it or we’ll come in with the legislation.”

Naomi Climer, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), agreed and said: “I’d make it mandatory – it’s been voluntary for decades and it hasn’t changed. I’d love to do it in an evolutionary way, but I’m running out of patience.

“A threat of quotas is pretty powerful.”

According to Allan Cook, non-executive director of WS Atkins the targets set by Lord Davies are a good example of targets that work.

Lord Davies published a report for the government in 2011 recommending that the boards of UK FTSE 100 companies should comprise a minimum of 25% women by the end of 2015 – a target which is on track. He also suggested that all companies should set targets to ensure more women at board level.

Cook said: “The ones who are not sure about it are the dinosaurs who are way back, because it’s a business imperative now.

“I’m against quotas, but we haven’t got the pipeline stuffed yet. If we make it into a quota system I think it will backfire on us.”

The panel was chaired by Bloomberg co-anchor, Anna Edwards. During the event Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, said: “Quotas are just a short term thing to get somewhere – a mechanism to get there. Then it’s important to develop and retain the people you get in through quotas. Quotas are a mechanism not an answer.

“A threat is needed rather than an immediate inquisition, but then to discuss how to retain those women throughout all stages of their careers.”

Shashi Watson, Senior Researcher at Winton Capital said she is “absolutely against quotas”.

She continued: “It’s just about letting girls know what’s out there as there will be stigma around the companies with quotas and people working there will feel like they’re being done a favour.”

Norris-Grey said she is against quotas but “prefers incentives, such as if you’re bidding for a government contract you should have some kind of diversity incentives, tax credits, etc to encourage more men and women to take up jobs that we can’t fill by the way.”

Climer agreed with incentives when bidding for contracts and said: “Make a criteria when choosing a bidder for example when I worked at Sony it was easy for me to do that in Japan, because to work with BskyB they have certain environmental criteria before you can get their business and work with them.”

“We need greater transparency in promotions, stats and pay. Businesses need to publish their gender statistics – if everyone did this it would raise the issue up on people’s agenda.”

Norris-Grey also suggested that targets should be for apprenticeships: “The government has declare its support for three million more apprenticeships, however I think at least one in three of those should be women. This will remove the biasness at the beginning to save us unravelling it in the future.”

Sex Discrimination Act 40th anniversary

Yesterday Climer, Trudy Norris-Grey, Mayer along with Christine Flounders

Research and Development Manager in London, Bloomberg wrote an open letter to the Financial Times and the London Evening Standard highlighting the 40th anniversary of the Sex Discrimination Act being passed in the UK.

The letter said: “We applaud the progress that has been made since.

But in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), progress remains slow. Women make up just 14 per cent of the UK’s STEM workforce. We want to see this be nearer 30 per cent by 2020.

The letter calls on government to create strong public policy: “We challenge the government to provide a clear commitment to accelerate diversity in our STEM industries.

“We cannot afford to wait another forty years to achieve this change.”