The City of Glasgow College is expanding its commitment to promoting gender equality and inclusive workplace practices with a new two-year project set to be rolled out across Europe. The ENGENDERING STEM project is a pan-European collaborative development project with partners from Scotland, Netherlands and Spain.
The project aims to share learning and good practice amongst European partners to support Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors to be bolder on gender equality. Evidence shows that greater diversity in the workplace leads to sustainable and inclusive growth and improved productivity and performance. However, SMEs report common challenges to developing more inclusive workplaces include time, resource, access to expertise and awareness of effective practices.
The project aims to identify common barriers and associated interventional strategies that have proven to be most effective for improving gender equality in organisations at various stages of engagement. In order to achieve this the project will deliver an evidence based self assessment toolkit, best practice guides and blended learning training solutions to over 2000 participants. A 10% increase in women’s participation in the project stakeholder population is targeted.
Douglas Morrison, STEM and Innovation Lead at City of Glasgow College, said:
This project represents another example of the College’s commitment to barriers to participation in the STEM labour market faced by women and other under-represented groups. By working with key experts, educators, industrialist and policy makers, we aim to develop a better understanding of how we can support SMEs to develop inclusive workplace practices and reap the social and economic benefits associated with employing a diverse workforce.
Talat Yaqoob, Director at Equate Scotland, said:
Equate Scotland are delighted to work with partners from across Europe to share best practice and make real progress on gender equality in STEM. Scotland has one of the lowest proportions of women in engineering and by learning from those doing better we hope to make Scot a gender equality champion in this area. Across Europe there are no countries who have got this right. There is significant work to do and that is why this project is critical.
Cocky Booij, Director at VHTO, said:
Traditionally, the Netherlands has lagged far behind other countries in terms of women working in STEM professions however; the number of Dutch girls choosing STEM studies is now growing fast. Developing interventions that will support SMEs to prepare for greater diversity in the workplace and to welcome these young female professionals is very important. VHTO looks forward to collaborating with our new partners on increasing opportunities for women in the STEM sectors.
Miguel Altuna said:
We have a society with a tendency to assign certain roles to the professions and it creates a gender gap. The best way to overcome a problem like this is by being aware of it and learning good practices of others. That is what the Engendering STEM project intends. We would like to contribute, opening minds in gender equality. STEM provides opportunity in young careers in general, however we want to encourage young women to take the best from these opportunities. SMEs must be able to attract women into STEM industries, showing and assuring attractiveness of their workplaces.
ENGENDERING STEM is Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union