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Want to stay on the right side of the law? We support businesses and public authorities and help them to promote good practice.
 
 

STEM

Making equality work for women in STEM
(science, technology, engineering & maths)

STEM industtries

What you need to know

Case studies

 

Improving the Gender balance in STEMSTEM charter

The Equality Commission is working with the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and the STEM Business Group to address gender imbalance in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) businesses in Northern Ireland.

The ratio of male to females employed in STEM-related industries is 3 to1.   This is not only a gender equality issue but a broader economic issue which impacts on business growth and development.

A report by the STEM Business Group, “Addressing Gender Balance – Reaping the Gender Dividend in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” (pdf, 1.1mb), highlights how attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce can maximize innovation, creativity and competitiveness in the STEM market.

The report also contains good practice guidelines for addressing the gender gap in STEM and has useful case studies of local companies who are already taking action to improve gender diversity in their organisation.


Reap the rewards with success through STEM:

Sign up to the STEM Charter


If you are a STEM business (employer or training provider) or offer STEM jobs and would like to demonstrate your commitment to gender equality, you can:


If you would like to know more contact Frank Fleming or Donna Heaney in the Commission’s Advice and Compliance team

  • Tel: 028 90 500 600




 

Companies signed up to the STEM Charter

The STEM Charter was launched on 4 June and already 38 companies have signed up:

Alexander Mann Solutions
Allstate NI
Almac
Atkins
Asidua
Belfast Met College
Bombardier Aerospace
CITB Construction Skills NI
Craigavon Ind. Development Organisation
Diamond Recruitment
Engineering Training Council (NI)
Fujitsu
Henry Brothers
 Heron Bros Ltd - read more
 Intel Corporation (UK) Ltd
 Letterkenny Inst. of Technology
  Liberty IT
  Magellan Aerospace Ltd
  McAvoy Corry Ltd
  Michelin Tyre PLC
  Moy Park
  NACCO Materials Handling Ltd
  NIE
  Northern Regional College
  Open University
  PATHXL
 Queen's University Belfast 
 Schrader Electronics
  Seagate
  School Employer Connections
  Sci-Geist
  Sentinus
  SQS
  STEM Aware
  Terex GB Ltd
  Ulster Bank
  University of Ulster
  Women's Resource & Dev Agency

 

Join the STEM Employers Equality Network

Following the successful launch of the STEM Charter, the Commission convened a STEM Employers Equality Network. The aim of the network is to bring employers together to discuss common employment issues, share good practice in respect of the recruitment and retention of females in their workforce and identify challenges to the promotion of equality of opportunity for women in STEM industries.

Participation in Networks can help you gain knowledge on specific initiatives to improve equality practice within the workplace and realise positive outcomes for employees. The Network events are open to new and existing members - we hope that you can participate and help to inform our work to promote gender equality and diversity in STEM industries in NI.

Join up now
If you are interested in joining the network contact Donna Heaney on 02890 500558 or email dheaney@equalityni.org. We look forward to meeting you and working together to promote gender balance in the Northern Ireland STEM workforce.

Belfast events
The first meetings of the STEM Employers Equality Network were held in Belfast in September 2014 and February 2015. This was followed by an event June with
guest speakers from the Ulster Bank and Women in Business discussing internal and external networks. A further STEM Network meeting was held in September 2015 at Malone House, Belfast, where Joe McCarron from the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion gave a presentation on Unconscious Bias and a conference on addressing the gender gap in STEM industries was held in November 2015.

North West events
The first North West STEM Employers Equality Network was held in April 2015 in the City Hotel, Derry. The event was very well attended with 32 participants contributing to the discussion. Maria McGilloway, Strategic Policy and Legal Manager, University of Ulster gave a talk to the group on the University’s Athena Swan Initiative. Four organisations signed up to the STEM Charter at the event. Another meeting held in October 2015 in the White Horse Hotel, L/Derry and further STEM Network meetings are scheduled. (see below)
 

Video: see how promoting gender equality has benefitted a business


Terex
Sharon Martin, IT Service Delivery Manager at Terex, explains how promoting gender equality has benefited their business. The video also looks at how STEM companies can promote gender equality and how the Equality Commission can help with this process.

Read more about Sharon and Terex
 
 

Forthcoming STEM Network events

2016
Thurs 9 June, 10am-1pm at Malone House, Belfast - discussion topic: taking lawful positive action more>
Tues 14 June, 10am-1pm at City Hotel, Derry - facilitated by Alaba Okuyiga on the topic of Unconscious Bias more>
Thurs 22 Sept, 10am-1pm, Belfast (venue to be confirmed)
Thurs 6 Oct, 10am-1pm, L/Derry (venue to be confirmed)

2017
Thurs 19 Jan, Belfast (venue to be confirmed)
Thurs 2 Feb, L/Derry (venue to be confirmed)
 
If you would like to attend a network event please send your name, organisation, telephone and email address to mmckeown@equalityni.org or telephone Michael on 02890 500560.
 

< Employers and service providers
 
 
Sharon's story
IT Service Delivery Manager
 
 
Wendy's story
Health & Safety Advisor
 
 
Olivia's story
Assistant Environmental Chemist
 
 
Sharon's story

Sharon Martin - Terex

Sharon is responsible for the delivery of IT Services for 15 Terex Materials Processing sites worldwide.  She manages a team of eight, five in Europe and three in US covering everything from hardware, software, phones, servers and networks and is also responsible for a multi-million dollar budget.

Previously Sharon worked primarily in applications – ranging from implementing very large computer systems to allow business efficiencies right through to Project Management, Business Analysis and Testing Team Lead. Read more>

 
Wendy's story

Wendy Armstrong - Henry Group

Wendy joined the Henry Group in 2013 as a Health & Safety Advisor. Her journey into the construction industry began following a work placement in 2001 with Fisher Engineering. Following this work placement she decided to change her career path from teaching to civil engineering and transferred from her A levels to completing a BTEC Diploma in Construction. She then attended the University of Ulster, Jordanstown and graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Civil Engineering.

Wendy has found her experience in the construction industry rewarding. Every project is different and brings new experiences and challenges. She has thoroughly enjoyed all the projects she has been involved in and the camaraderie that is developed when working as part of a site team. Read more>

 
Olivia's story

Olivia Byrne - Bombardier Aerospace


Olivia wanted to study for a degree which would open doors to a range of jobs, rather than narrow her choices. This led to her studying Chemical Engineering at Queen's University and completing an MPhil research degree.


After graduating, Olivia worked for a local quarrying company before joining Bombardier Aerospace as a Materials and Process Engineer in the Chemical and Environmental Technologies group. She said "It’s also great to know that we’re making the aerospace industry as a whole safer for people and the environment. "An aircraft can have a lifespan of 40 years so my work today will be keeping people safe as far away as the 2050s!

Olivia has found her experience in engineering interesting and rewarding. She said, "Your professional skills and enthusiasm for your job are what matters to anyone you deal with, not your gender.  If you want to study something where you will be in demand worldwide, get to be hands-on with exciting equipment and processes, and continually learn and develop, then engineering could be a great fit." Read more>

 
 

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