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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


Halesowen College

Challenging gender stereotypes in STEM apprenticeships

Keywords: Apprenticeships, Enabling careers advisers, Engaging employers, Disability, Intersectionality, Race, Sex

Region: West Midlands region

Aims

The project aimed to positively promote opportunities for all students and actively challenge gender stereotypes for traditionally male dominated sectors such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The long-term project target is to increase female participation in advanced and higher level apprenticeships by 30 per cent over a three-year period, addressing the current gender imbalance.

Outcomes

Working with local employers the college celebrated the success of women in STEM industries and promoted strong role models to inspire and support future students. Inclusion was key, and the project centred around the careers function with advisers challenging stereotyping, and offering advice and practical support to students with a range of different protected characteristics with an emphasis on gender.

As part of the project the college has registered with the STEM Alliance’s ‘STEM Exchange Programme’ and implemented a STEM Equality Project Steering Group  which includes senior management.

The project enabled the college to expand its annual careers and volunteering event, which took place in May 2015. This created a valuable opportunity for organisations to promote and highlight the opportunities within their businesses to all college students and for us to spread good practice.

We have built on existing good practice within the careers and apprenticeship teams to promote higher apprenticeships and challenge gender stereotypes by integrating images and testimonials from positive role model in all promotional materials. We continue to offer targeted support to female students and those from underrepresented groups to ensure they have the support needed to progress.

Resources

Project team

Main contact: Alex Griffin: agriffin@halesowen.ac.uk