Redesigning HE outreach activities for the gender gap

Caroline Lambert, Nonkulueko Makota

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    STEM subjects are identified as being ‘critical’ to the future competitiveness of the UK and are of strategic importance to the nation due to increased competition from rapidly advancing economies around the world. There is a pronounced gender gap in the number of females taking science at A-Level. This paper explores the approach taken by the Faculty of Engineering and Computing at Coventry University to address the gender imbalance. A workshop facilitated by the UKRC for Women in STEM was held in September 2011. An action taken as a result of the discussions (between staff and students from both genders and at all levels) was to look at the Faculty’s outreach activities regarding gender inclusivity. The Faculty is working in collaboration with local schools to develop targeted workshops aimed at female students who are yet to pick their A-levels. All pupils are encouraged to attend a ‘taster day’: carry out various engineering activities in the university environment but they have been designed to appeal to a female audience. This should provide them with an insight into the options open to them in the hard sciences in a focused way. The feedback from the taster sessions will then be used to support action plan for Athena SWAN Chartership. This is being undertaken to identify equality and diversity needs and issues within the whole university and how they can be addressed. It is examining gender specific trends and monitoring the impact. This approach has already resulted in a rise in awareness of gender attitudes and knowledge amongst staff and students.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2012
    Event1st Annual Conference on the Aiming for Excellence in STEM Learning and Teaching
    - Imperial College, London & The Royal Geographical Society., London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 12 Apr 201213 Apr 2012


    Conference1st Annual Conference on the Aiming for Excellence in STEM Learning and Teaching
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • STEM
    • gender
    • equality
    • outreach activities
    • engineering


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