Senior Pro VC Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott calls for positive action to inspire next generation of women in STEM

Swansea University’s Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott is to speak at a major conference in London tomorrow (Thursday 30th March) which will promote women working in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEM).

Senior Pro VC Professor Hilary Lappin-ScottProfessor Lappin-Scott will be at the Inside Government Promoting Women in STEM 2017 Forum at the Hallam Conference Centre, where she will focus her talk on the role of Higher Education in encouraging the next generation of women in STEM.

In her talk, Professor Lappin-Scott, who was nominated for the WISE Hero Award in the 2016 Wise Awards for inspiring women to study and work in STEM subjects, will highlight the innovative work currently being done at Swansea University and call on others to take affirmative action.

Looking at the three major themes of 2016 report, ‘Talented Women for a Successful Wales’, - leadership/promotion, recruitment and retention, she will examine how these are being translated into positive actions at the University in areas such as:

  • Carrying out direct access work communities to raise awareness about and applications for STEM subjects.
  • Collaborating beyond the university with employers and external partners to increase participation of women in STEM.
  • Detailing innovative ways in which people and organisations can encourage more girls to take STEM courses at a higher level and better succeed in their careers

 Professor Lappin-Scott will also be underlining some effective interventions such as:-

  • Introducing Athena SWAN key performance indicators on the percentage of women in senior teams
  • Co-opting women onto senior committees if the gender balance is weak
  • Holding ‘promotions workshops’ for women
  • Introducing the 50:50 by 2020 initiative to achieve gender balance in leadership
  • Hosting compulsory unconscious bias training especially for those on promotion & selection panels

Professor Lappin-Scott said: “It takes time to bring about culture change but improvements are happening and while there is no magic formula for success, the impact is success is huge.  I’m convinced that good leadership, constant attention to all the issues, open mindedness and innovation and engagement with women and men can help transform the place of women in STEM into the 21st century.”

Watch Professor Lappin-Scott’s TED Talk: ‘Move Over Boys: Why we need more girls and women in STEM careers' here