Well, the time has come to sign off as Director of Equate Scotland. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead Equate Scotland through the past two years.
The wonderful Equate team have time and again responded to challenges and risen up to meet them. They have continued to deliver for students, women, and employers in STEM, and they can look forward with confidence knowing that they can do even more to help level the playing field, supporting and encouraging more students and women into STEM.
What has also been encouraging is the way that many employers are now recognising that if we are to meet the challenges we all face, then building a more diverse and inclusive workforce has to be integral to their business strategy, and they are prepared to do something tangible and positive to achieve this. We are delighted to work with them to help them reach that goal.
Over the last two years, based on your input, we have evolved our services and our partnerships. Delivering more experiential, practical training in Data Science, our ConStructEd programme, and Passivhaus in Practice. These experiential learning events reflecting the emerging changes in construction, technology and built environment fields. And we want to do more.
Our online conferences on Intersectionality, and last year’s Student Conference were well received with wonderful key speakers and panel discussions, we all came away the better for the experience and the inspiration.
The clock is ticking on finding breakthrough solutions to getting more women into STEM. This is an issue that is long past overdue, yet systems and attitudes remain ingrained and despite years of encouragement to change, statistics remain stagnant. But unless we are all able to grow them very soon, we will simply not have the skilled workforce our economy needs. It is time for governments everywhere to drive a sustained agenda on equality and diversity – really making it count – so that we bring to life the talents of all of our people and communities.
My final thanks go to our Steering Committee for the input and support and to Edinburgh Napier University for their encouragement and engagement in our work.
Recruitment for my successor is underway and I wish them well in taking Equate on the next iteration of its journey. I hope you will also continue to stay the course and your career in STEM and work with us and support us on what comes next.