Our 4th annual Equate Student Student Conference & Awards was held on Wednesday 27th March at ECCI in Edinburgh.

The conference brought together 60 women STEM students from 18 different colleges and universities for an inspiring day of talks, workshops and networking with women STEM professionals.

Our keynote speakers were Kirsty Robb and Helen Wade, who earlier this year took part in an all-female expedition to Antarctica through an initiative called Homeward Bound. They delivered an inspirational talk about their career paths in STEM and reflected on the challenges they have overcome.

Keynote Speakers Kirsty Robb and Helen Wade

The conference received sponsorship from Balfour Beatty, Datalab, Scottish Power, EY and Dell EMC who facilitated interactive workshops on developing social networks, enhancing application and interview skills and assertiveness in the workplace.

Representatives from all of our sponsors were involved in a panel session about the impact media has on the leaky pipeline and what their companies are doing to advance gender equality in STEM. This session gave students the opportunity to ask senior members of staff challenging questions about their workplace culture, intersectionality and work-life balance.

The conference included a presentation of the Equate Student Awards 2019 which recognises women students (university or college) and institutions who have gone above and beyond to support, mentor or promote women in STEM. Here from the two winners as they talk about their experiences as women in STEM and the public engagement activities they are involved in here.

(From left to right) Eileen Young, Hannah Houston, Dominique Green and Marnie McKay

The Scotsman also came to conference and their article is here.

Student feedback from the conference was excellent. Students said:

I feel like I now have a network of other young women in STEM to collaborate with and share support. It is a very empowering feeling.

I feel so much more inspired and empowered in my field. I no longer feel so much like a minority, but part of a group of likeminded women who are there to support each other.

I think I have learned more about woman in STEM and I am reassured about going into a career in the field. I have learned valuable skills and how best to prepare for interviews and assessment centres.