Part of the Festival of Making, 14-16 June in Blackburn.

  • What are the issues and barriers to raising the levels of women in STEAM?What are the stereotypes vs the reality of STEAM jobs, and how do we get this reality across?
  • Who do we need to inspire to help raise the numbers of women?
  • How do we encourage interest in STEAM subjects for young girls from an earlier age?

“I have been a female engineer for nearly 30 years and the numbers are not much better than then were when I started. We need a game changer.”

Helen Heggie

Now more than ever there is a need for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), concepts to integrate with the arts (STEAM), across curriculum and in industry. Women are frequently at the forefront of this global movement of change, yet their representation is still limited.

According to a recent UNESCO study, globally women hold less than 30% of jobs in STEAM, which encompasses the fastest-growing and highest-paying professional fields, particularly in low-and-middle income economies. However, in the UK, only 9% of the STEM workforce comprise of women, a shocking lag. STEM and STEAM skills form part of everything we make and do, and yet the data which informs design and decision making is predominantly focused on one branch of society, instead of accurately considering the needs of a more diverse society.

STEM skills are creative in nature because they involve problem solving and design thinking. In education though, the creative dimension of Science and Technology is being lost because of widening gaps in curriculum. This impacts young girls even more, as they are being introduced to STEAM too late.

This session invites perspectives on these questions from women working in STEAM and related industries.

Key Contributors:

Hosted by Philippa Glover

Helen Heggie (STEM Ambassador), Daksha Patel (AIM Artist), Louise Gardner (Darwen Terracotta), Cathy Podevyn (Spiraflow), Nicola Ellis (AIM Artist) & Liz Wilson (AIM Artist)

Click to book your place online

Working with and supported by:

  • ERDF - logo
  • Enterprise Nation - Partner