Placements and Returnships


Careerwise is a ground breaking placement scheme exclusively for women studying STEM subjects at Scottish Universities and Colleges.

The placements typically last 8 – 12 weeks, are paid at least £16K pro rata and take place over the summer each year.  Now in our 4th year, demand for our women only placements remains high.

Employers report that talent with STEM skills are becoming harder to recruit.  With the current STEM skills shortage, an ageing workforce and the generational gap – placements are essential for building the talent pipeline and should be a significant part of your recruitment process.

23% of employers that have had internships within the previous 12 months report that they have recruited someone following an internship compared with 8% that have recruited someone after a graduate programme. (UKES Report on Youth Unemployment)

Careerwise encourages employers to take positive action by offering paid work placements to help address the imbalance in their industry and to increase the diversity of their STEM workforce.  The benefits for your organisation are:

  • Access to an internship recruitment scheme aimed exclusively at under graduate women STEM students
  • Build a talent pipeline and plug the skill shortage by widening your talent pool
  • Enhanced company profile among Scotland’s women STEM talent and their associated universities
  • Be recognised as a progressive employer and become an employer of choice for women in STEM

Careerwise is always looking for valuable STEM work experience opportunities for talented and able women STEM students.  We are oversubscribed in applications and actively looking for new partners to offer paid work experience opportunities – will that be you!

For more information click here or Contact Careerwise: 


At Equate Scotland we have been working with employers to develop returnships for women in STEM since 2014. Returnships support women with expertise and experience in STEM related areas return to the sector after having left for more than two years.

Employers provide 3-6 month returnships in an area where they require capacity. We recommend that the returnship is paid to match experience and champions flexible working. Equate Scotland supports the development of the programme within your company,  job description development, promotion of the returnship opportunity, and in work support through our 1-2-1 career clinics (if requested).

The benefits to the organisation:

  • A unique opportunity to fill skills shortages or vacancies in your organisation.
  • An opportunity to recruit an experienced woman with a background in STEM
  • Be recognised as a progressive employer and become an employer of choice for women in STEM

Find out more about returnships and how to offer them in this quick guide.

What employers and returners say about the programme:

Joe McGuigan, EDF Energy: “Getting in touch with Equate was the enabler to take me from ‘I’d be really interested but don’t know how that would work’ to ‘I know I’ve got somebody to walk me through the steps’…Already you can see Julie [woman returner] is really keen to get going, really keen to get involved and already making an impact, so it’s been great for me and great for EDF Energy.”

Julie, Woman Returner: “I’d had ten years in STEM prior to starting a family, but it was a while ago, and I thought I was out-of-date.  I came across Equate and it started to become possible to think about going back. I found great support from the women running the programme, making me realise my strengths and improve my professional profile. I finally got a job!”