‘You can be a mother, daughter, sister and engineer if you wish’

UNISON’s women’s conference addresses the lack of women working in science, technology, engineering and maths

photograph of unison women's conference debating STEM education

UNISON’s women’s conference opened its second day with a passionate debate on the lack of women working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Speakers in Liverpool discussed the need to remove the stigma around STEM subjects in order to increase female participation.

Angela Wall from Kirklees spoke passionately about her career as an electrical engineer.

Janis Ford, a career’s adviser from Hertfordshire, told delegates about the importance of impartial advice for young women from careers advisers.

Yvonne Watson from Grampian health branch talked about her sister, a technician in the navy who visits schools to talk to children about working in STEM.

“I’m very proud of my sister,” stated Ms Watson. “She shows me that you can be a mother, wife, daughter, sister and engineer if you wish.”

Conference voted to:

  • work with branches and regions to create a campaign to remove stigma of females undertaking STEM subjects at any age;
  • work with Labour Link to lobby the UK government to address this matter in Parliament;
  • work with Labour Link to lobby the UK government to provide a bursary for females wishing to undertake STEM A levels, to help retain and develop talent.