WISE28 2 20 209

Promoting STEM careers to women and girls

After joining the Board in 2019, our business analyst, Hazel Atkins, became Chair of the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Young Professionals board (WYPB) in January 2020.

The WISE campaign is an independent Community Interest Company, which works with its network of corporate and academic members to achieve 30% of women working in core STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) roles.

Board members are successful young role models in their industries, poised to bring expertise to an ever-changing workplace. With technology creating new ways to network and grow professionally compared to 30 years ago, the role of the WYPB is constantly evolving. WYPB members are a great asset to the WISE campaign, informing strategy, becoming role models and providing insight on empowering women of all ages to pursue a career in STEM.

Ruth Blanco, Communications Director for WISE, commented:

“We are a membership organisation, focused on helping businesses get more women and girls in to STEM careers. This year we’ve been absolutely thrilled to have Hazel Atkins from BMT chair our Young Professionals board, a group of amazing individuals who inspire, advocate and engage the next generation of STEM.  In a very tricky year, Hazel has led this team to give us the most engagement we’ve ever had and some fantastic results.  She’s taken events from in person to on-line smoothly, motivated the team, given real momentum in a time when it is desperately needed.   We are very grateful to have Hazel and thank her for everything she has done.”

The WYPB pride themselves in being from various backgrounds, educational routes, locations, STEM disciplines and now genders (opening the applications to all genders in 2020 to recognise “male allies”). Their diversity gives a variety of perspectives and opinions that increases the value of feedback to WISE, drives change, and extends influence further. They encourage controversial and sometimes uncomfortable conversations within the board to directly challenge the issues, questions, and opinions surrounding gender parity.

Hazel commented:

“I am incredibly proud of the impact and improvements we’ve made in 2020.  I’ve developed the board to follow a more structured approach, created a team with mutual trust and respect and strengthened our influence with the WISE Campaign. I have managed 11 members of the WYPB from different companies, locations and backgrounds and kept our engagement and impact high through a challenging time.  I bring my skills as a leader and advocate on the WYPB to my projects at BMT.“
“Through my role on the board I have met incredible individuals who are committed and passionate about affecting change. I lead those on the board to further our impact so that STEM companies can retain amazing talent by being an inclusive and enjoyable place for women to work. I do not feel this is too much to ask, as Otegha Uwagba (a writer and public speaker) said: “Men should be glad women want equality and not revenge.”

Hazel commented:

“The quest for equality is far from over, and with BMT’s support I am able to make a difference within our company and industry. Diversity brings a larger choice of skilled workers, better overall company performance and an enhanced customer experience by enabling diverse thought, problem solving and providing a progressive platform for innovation and creativity. BMTs membership of WISE helps further women’s inclusion within STEM.“