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ICE backs government campaign to boost female STEM uptake

The ICE has joined over 170 businesses, institutions and not for profit organisations to support a new government campaign to boost participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at school.

The aim is to double the number of women studying STEM subjects at university by 2030.

The Your Life campaign, launched at the Science Museum by chancellor George Osborne commits participating organisations to making individual pledges to highlight the career opportunities open to those studying STEM subjects. The pledges include a commitment to creating over 2,000 new entry level positions including apprenticeships, graduate jobs or paid work experience posts.

The campaign will also have targeted advertising and a new scheme to boost the number of high-skilled science teachers, alongside the pledges from business and industry.

The Institution has pledged that from May to December 2014 it will:

  • Deliver two events for schools and colleges targeted at addressing gender and ethnic diversity in civil engineering in each of the ICE’s regions
  • Support the national and regional Big Bang Fair and Tomorrow’s Engineers week by delivering activity involving inspirational female engineers
  • Deliver the ICE’s QUEST scholarship scheme to support civil engineers at university with company-linked placements. In 2013, 39% of awards were to female student engineers. Each scholar commits to delivering three promotional events per year for the ICE
  • Recruit two to three additional female volunteers for the Stemnet ambassador scheme in each of the ICE’s regions, to provide advice and guidance and act as mentors
  • Review all promotional material to ensure female representation and appropriate messaging
  • Ensure the ICE’s regional school, college and careers are at least 50% directed to female participants activities (in 2013 there were 34,300 contacts with young people)
  • Deliver one apprenticeship recruitment event in each ICE region working with Women Into Science and Engineering or other partners to encourage females into civil engineering
  • Deliver with other Tomorrow’s Engineers partners four national for college admissions service UCAS

ICE director general Nick Baveystock said the campaign had the ICE’s “full support”.

“For too long there has been a disproportionate balance of male and female engineers,” he said.

“Female applications to the ICE are rising, with graduate numbers reaching 18%, and our under 19s engagement work and collaboration with other bodies and the government has led to some excellent initiatives. But the reality is that we ­struggle to attract women into the profession, and to retain them, and I believe this erodes our ­ability to offer creative civil engineering solutions to societal needs.

“There is a commercial as well as social imperative to right the imbalance and efforts must be ramped up - the Your Life call to action launched today is a positive step and the campaign has our full support.”

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