Stanmore College will be the host to an urgent warning that Britain’s Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) industries are desperately in need of “feminisation” if they are to excel in the tough economic climate.
Michelle Medhat, Director of Operations and Strategic Development for the New Engineering Foundation (NEF) a vocational education think-tank, will make the appeal when she delivers the Guest of Honour speech at Stanmore College, North West London, on 6 March 2009. The event marks International Women’s Day, which falls on Sunday 8th March 2009.
Michelle Medhat says:
“Science, engineering and technology need to be drastically “feminised”. Women still make up far too small a proportion of those working in these fields. This means that the whole sector is deprived of vast swathes of talent, creativity and innovation. The debate about whether men or women are predisposed to particular skills rumbles on, but in the meantime what is undeniably true is that a sector where women are unrepresented simply because they are women is a sector that is missing out on a great deal of potential excellence. In today’s competitive marketplace, that just isn’t good enough.”
“Things are slowly starting to change. The NEF runs an Industrial Fellowship scheme, which places Further Education lecturers in local companies, and gives them a chance to experience the latest developments in their field. Back in 2005, only 2% of applications came from women SET lecturers, this year the figure was 22%. That’s a 1000% rise in 5 years. It’s good news, but there’s a lot more work to do. This is the year for women to acknowledge the amazing contribution they can make in Science, Engineering and Technology, make it happen and get the recognition they rightly deserve.”
Jacqui Mace, Principal of Stanmore College, adds:
“We are delighted that Michelle had agreed to be our guest of honour today to inspire and energise our staff and guests. The College is committed to equality and diversity in all areas and is particularly keen to promote our high quality science and technology courses to female students in the local area to help them get involved in this economically vital area”.
Full copy of speech available here