Careerwise is a ground breaking annual work placement promotion gateway targeted at women studying STEM subjects at Scottish Universities and Colleges.

We promote placements that are designed, delivered and paid for by STEM employers.  Employers are invited to advertise their STEM opportunities via Careerwise free of charge.  Each advert will contain a link back to the employer’s website so applicants can apply direct to the organisation, meaning the employer has complete control over the application system.

Only opportunities aimed at under graduate level, 1st to 4th year students and HNC/HND level college students are promoted by the gateway.  The placements advertised should be between 8-12 weeks and 6 months long, in industry or academia, that take place between June and August each year.

These placements are not job opportunities or access to future permanent jobs. We specifically promote these opportunities to women as they are significantly under-represented and disadvantaged in STEM fields and roles across Scotland.  The opportunity to explore the particular type of role they are considering, enables women to make an informed decision as to whether to continue a career in STEM.

Additionally, the high quality work placements enable students to develop both the technical and soft skills desired by recruiting employers such as self-management, organisational and communication skills.

Careerwise also specifically supports women to apply for placements via CV and Interview workshops.  However, opportunities advertised via the Careerwise gateway can be applied for, or discussed further, directly with the employer (or on other placement advertising websites) by any student who is interested.

Careerwise works with industry and academia to help increase the participation of women in STEM fields.  The main objectives of Careerwise are to:

  • Improve access to STEM industry for women
  • Increase women’s awareness of STEM occupations as viable career options.
  • Increase women’s employability skills in preparation for future entry for actual STEM employment.
  • Support STEM employers to take positive action to increase opportunities for women considering STEM careers
  • Support Universities to take positive action to increase opportunities for girls and young women considering STEM further education


The business case

The case for increasing the participation of women in STEM is clear and simple – we have a STEM skills shortage, an ageing workforce and a generational gap.  Women represent an untapped talent pool that employers can target to help plug the skills gap.  For Scotland to be the best that it can be and remain globally competitive, we need to harness all our available talent in STEM fields to ensure future economic success.

Employer’s report that talent with STEM skills is becoming harder to recruit, work placements are therefore essential for building the early career talent pipeline.  By advertising your opportunities with Careerwise you will attract applications from women STEM students with a diverse range of skills and experiences.

In addition, diversity is good for business!  Research makes it increasingly clear that gender diverse companies are more successful and 15% more likely to financially outperform companies that are not.  Companies that are gender diverse understand their customer’s needs and expectations better, they make better decisions, and design better products and services.  Gender diverse companies benefit from greater employee satisfaction, which enables them to attract top talent; A diverse workforce is a source of competitive advantage and a key enabler of growth.


  • Access to a work placement promotion gateway that enables employers to specifically target women STEM students
  • Benefit from an enhanced company profile among women STEM students and their associated learning institutions
  • Be recognised as a progressive employer and become an employer of choice for women in STEM
  • PR opportunities to connect and engage women STEM students at various Equate Scotland student focused events

What employers get:

  • Free advertisement of your STEM work placement opportunity on our CareerHub, which normally costs £200 + VAT per advert
  • Review of your placement specification for any gendered language and suggestions on how to improve language
  • Full suite of promotion activities carried out on your behalf to all Scottish Universities and Colleges
  • Support provided by Careerwise to your student placementee whilst on placement ensuring they make a significant contribution to your organisation
  • Invitation to attend a Careerwise employer workshop ‘Hosting Student Work Placements’ to ensure the employer maximises business benefits of hosting student placements

How to participate

Any employer who offers student STEM summer placements can participate. Advertising placement opportunities via Careerwise is light touch and high impact for employers. It’s a simple 3 step process:

Step 1

Employers identify a training/work placement opportunity, which genuinely provides students with the opportunity to develop and acquire the professional skills and experience relevant to the students chosen career.

Employers considering hosting student work placements can download our resource for employers ‘A Guide to Hosting Internships’.

Step 2

Employers provide a placement advert and description for posting with a direct link for students to apply via your own website/other portal – it’s that easy!

We will read over your advert to ensure it meets Careerwise criteria e.g under graduate level and, we check for any gendered language.  We then place the advert on our CareerHub and carryout lots of promotion on your behalf to encourage women STEM students to apply.

Step 3

Employers must place the same advert on their own website/other portal to enable anyone to apply.  Employers carry out their own open and fair recruitment and selection process, whatever that may entail. It is entirely the employer’s own choice who they award their placement to.

Should a women be successful in obtaining a work placement with your organisation, we ask (with their permission) that you forward their details to Careerwise to allow the students to access the additional careers support and guidance provided by Careerwise and the Equate Student Network.

Employer Fees

There is no fee other than the placement student salary that the employer pays.  Careerwise will only advertise work placements that are paid. We recommend that employers pay at least the real living wage.

To discuss advertising your placement opportunity via the Careerwise gateway please contact Joanna Glenfield, Project Officer – Careerwise on 0131 455 2267 or email ">.

Case Studies

Resources for Employers