Reflections on 2022

women students on construction site

2022 has been a very busy year at Equate and we’d like to take some time to reflect back on some of our highlights of the year and thank you all for your ongoing support. We have continued to work with students, women professionals, women returners, employers, academia, and policymakers to make the Scottish STEM sector a more equitable and enticing environment for women.

It has been a year of a lot of changes at Equate. We were delighted to welcome our new Director – Dilraj Sokhi-Watson – in November after Lesley retired in August. Lesley took the decision to retire after 2 years at the helm of Equate and we wish her all the best in her retirement.

In June, we held our STEM through an Intersectional Lens Conference, the 3-day event had a packed programme full of industry and feminist experts. With keynote speakers from Laura Mwale, author of ‘The Shuri Effect: bridging the gap for young black women in STEM’, and Pam Duncan Glancy MSP, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for social justice and social security.

You can read our full reflections on the conference here.

Our experiential learning courses continue to be flagship events supporting women students and women professionals to gain hands-on experience in different STEM sectors.

We held Equate ConStructEd in May, with a group of women engineering and built environment students. The 3-day course was delivered in partnership with Concrete Scotland, with support from Balfour Beatty and Jacobs. Over the course of the event 3 teams of our students built working wind turbines, gaining onsite experience and building their confidence and professional networks.

You can read more about ConStructEd here.

In partnership with CodeClan and the Data Lab, we have delivered four women in data science courses this year, with one course specifically tailored to neurodiverse women. Data Science is a rapidly growing field, and we hope these introductory courses help women develop their skillsets and confidence to pursue a career in data.

Our final experiential learning event was Passivhaus in Practice which was delivered with BE-ST in August. Passivhaus is the future of low carbon building construction, and our attendees learned the skills and techniques that go towards building a house that is completely energy efficient.

We hosted a development day for our student champions and representatives of women in STEM student societies from universities across Scotland in October. The Equate Student Network is supporting these students in their STEM education, as well as building their confidence and supporting their professional development for their future careers.

We are proud to have supported students and women with our free events and career clinic service, we are also proud to have worked with employers on their equality, diversity, and inclusion practices to help attract, recruit, and retain more women in STEM careers. There is a lot of work still to do and we are excited to continue our work advocating for and supporting women in STEM in 2023.