Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Returning to STEM

4 Good places for women to work

There is clear momentum behind the recruitment of women into STEM occupations, driven by support from the senior management of major UK companies and by evidence from McKinsey & Company’s research into the business benefits of a gender diverse workforce (Hunt et al, 2015). This research correlates a company’s financial performance with the gender diversity of its organisation and demonstrates a competitive advantage of diverse organisations compared to less diverse peers companies.

In 2014 WISE convened a group of STEM industry leaders with a brief to develop a process that would guide enlightened companies along a journey from a commitment to gender diversity to actual accomplishment; this brief was supported by the government via the Cabinet Office (WISE, 2014. The output, the WISE Industry-led Ten Steps, has been committed to by 40 chairs/chief executives of major STEM employers in the UK. These companies are fully committed to creating a workplace environment that supports women’s retention and progression. You can find their details on the WISE website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Watch Sarah Golding of Bechtel talking about the company’s diversity policies and its use of the WISE Ten Steps.

Download this video clip.Video player: return_to_stem_week3vid4_512x256.mp4
Skip transcript


So the way we've approached diversity is kind of how you would approach any other part of the business. We've decided to get corporate goals that the business actually sets for diversity and inclusion objectives, which then are rolled down throughout the business.
And the group that I'm involved with is called Women at Bechtel. So that is a forum for females within Bechtel, offering support on a range of issues.
And we actually have our own goals, and we've linked up with a company called WISE. And so we follow their Ten Steps programme, and what we've done is we’ve broken the ten steps down into lines of operations. And we have champions for each area.
The area I look after is mentoring and sponsorship. So that's increasing the transparency of females up in the career progression, the mentoring and the sponsoring side of it.
So last year we decided to run a number of events. We did something called speed mentoring, where we actually had 70 individuals in the room where they had six nine-minute conversations, and had that chance to meet senior leaders within the business.
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371