Category: Diversity

  • Supporting girls & women in STEM

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    Creating a more equal, prosperous Wales

    It’s no secret that the STEM sectors – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – are male-dominated. Two exceptions overall are probably the biological sciences and medicine, but even in these sectors, many of the top posts are occupied by men.

    I’ve been delighted to have been involved with the Welsh Government’s Women in STEM Board since May last year. The Board has strong representation at the Ministerial level, and is also populated by highly influential Champions of Women in STEM from across industry and education.

    I believe that it’s not just industry and education that face challenges with facilitating the pathway to fulfilling STEM hobbies and jobs, but the whole of society. That’s why I took on the role of Chair of a sub-group dealing with communications for Women in STEM.

    The two main outputs from the communications sub-group have been:

    The benefits of having a more equal STEM workforce are strongly overlapping with the values of Afallen. We believe that a STEM workforce which reflected gender in Wales would support both a more equal and a more prosperous Wales.

    A more balanced STEM workforce also supports three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely a Quality Education (Goal 4), Gender Equality (Goal 5) and Decent Work & Economic Growth (Goal 8).

    How can you get involved?

    The WiSTEM movement needs support from women and men in all walks of life. Here are some practical things that will help make the STEM sector, and society more widely, more accessible to women, thereby improving prosperity and equality for us all:

    1. Consider adding your support of Women in STEM to your social media profile. I have ‘Feminist’ in mine, which is a public reminder to myself of the behaviours and actions I expect to hold myself to
    2. If you’re happy to act as a STEM ambassador in a local school, or happy to speak to the media (print, radio or television) about why it’s important to improve the rates of participation by girls and women in STEM subjects, please sign up to the supporter list
    3. Sign up to be a mentor (or mentee!) at the Wales Women in STEM site
    4. Follow the twitter account ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you have other practical suggestions on how to accelerate equality in STEM for girls, boys, women and men, please let us know in the comments below!

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  • Wales’ talent is everywhere. We want the best of it

    A Wales of all the talents

    We believe that Wales’ best potential will only be attained if we can tap the abilities of all of our people. We also know that many people struggle to reach their own full potential, not because they lack the talent or the skills, but because their disabilities make entering the workplace more challenging than it should be.

    We want to work with the most talented people – wherever they are based, and whatever their physical circumstances – and are delighted to announce that we have been accepted to the ‘Disability Confident‘ scheme. It’s a UK Government scheme which aims to support employers in recruiting and retaining the best talent, including from the pools of people who have a disability or health condition.

    We intend to understand from disabled peopleโ€™s user led organisations how we can make any work opportunities as accessible as possible to as wide a range of people as possible. We think that our method of working with people embedded in their local communities will assist with the accessibility of our work opportunities, because colleagues are able to work in the home or office conditions which suit them best.

    The spirit of Future Generations

    The Future Generations Well-being Goals and Ways of Working are both supported by good practice engendered in the Disability Confident scheme.

    Making it easier for people with health problems or disabilities into meaningful and valued work supports:

    • A ‘healthier Wales’ by enabling more people to enter the workplace, reducing stigma and mental health issues
    • A ‘more resilient Wales’ by helping to improve skills and retaining knowledge across the widest possible range of people
    • A ‘more equal Wales’ by ensuring that the fruits of gainful employment are shared more equally with currently disadvantaged groups
    • A ‘prosperous Wales’ by making the best possible talent available to us, and enabling us to provide an outstanding service to our clients

    The Future Generations Act also specifies the need to work differently, using the Five Ways of Working. With Afallen taking part in the Disability Confident scheme, we can more easily demonstrate:

    • Integration of our outputs with the needs of other service delivery partners in the public or private sector
    • Strengthening Wales’ long-term ability to provide meaningful employment for people with different abilities
    • The ability of people with disabilities or health conditions to more easily access work, mitigating future costs to the individual or public support services (prevention)
    • Collaboration with new partner organisations which could lead to better Well-being Outcomes for all parties
    • Involvement with people who reflect Wales’ diversity in fullย 

    It’s important to us that a Wales-based consultancy is able to offer an extremely high level of quality, from a cohort of specialists which reflect Wales’ diversity in all aspects. Working with people from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences increases overall performance, and we think that our first steps into the Disability Confident scheme will help us achieve the excellence that is our aim.

    You can see all our accreditations in the footer of our webpage – with more to follow in the coming months!ย 

    If you have any thoughts on our approach, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, or drop us some comments below.