It all starts with a conversation. Rachel from the DYW
Dundee & Angus team arranged an informal meeting with the new Learning
& Engagement Officer for the HMS Frigate Unicorn, Andrea, to hear about how
she was settling into the role and before either knew it, there was a plan to
DYW-ify Andrea’s flagship event.
Andrea felt it was vital that the Unicorn was part of the
international celebrations for Women and Girls in STEM. The Unicorn has a long
history of training boys and men, but it also has a forgotten past of training
women and Andrea wanted to promote this in-conjunction with the vital and
vibrant role women have in STEM.
Andrea was organising the We Matter Networking Event, which
brought five incredible women with careers in STEM fields onto the Unicorn on
Saturday 9th February to share their story and advice they had for
girls looking to go into a STEM career themselves. We highly recommend you
watch the Facebook Live video (available on
HMS Unicorns Facebook page) of Catherine Gemmell’s talk, as she shares
brilliant advice about participation and resilience to discover and achieve
your career dreams.
This event was open to the public, but Andrea wanted more
involvement from local girls, as they were the target audience, who Andrea was
hoping to inspire. Rachel and Andrea worked together to devise a plan of STEM
Ambassadors; local school pupils with an interest in STEM who would help
promote and support the event (gaining work experience) while getting an opportunity
to engage with the speakers.
Eleven S3 girls from across Dundee and Angus attended a
training session on-board the Unicorn on 29th January. Sarah from
the Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce helped Andrea and Rachel to deliver
workshops on presentation technique, the value of social media and photography.
Presentation and communication skills are invaluable soft skills that are
required in any career. The ability to successfully use social media as a
marketing tool is something many employers are now looking for.
With new knowledge and confidence, the girls began to plan
how they could help Andrea promote the event and support the speakers at the
On the day the STEM Ambassadors arrived bright and early to help Andrea set-up and welcome the speakers. They then got to be inspired by Catherine Gemmell, Scotland’s Conservation Officer from Marine Conservation Society, Michelle Rennie the Director of Major Transport Infrastructure Projects at Transport Scotland, Junior Doctor and Medical Researcher for NASA and ESA Christina Mackaill, Catriona Patterson the Green Arts Project Manager at Creative Carbon Scotland and incredible young STEM talent and spokesperson Mhairi McCann.
By participating in this event the STEM Ambassadors not only
got to hear about incredible woman in interesting roles, inspiring them towards
success themselves, they also got hands-on experience of events planning, marketing
and networking that they can discuss in future interviews. The girls also got
an opportunity to grow their knowledge and abilities with valuable soft skills
which support their future ambitions. The whole experience broadened their
horizons, gave them insight into the working world and introduced them to
carers they may not have considered before.
Andrea also got good outcomes from her in-put. She received help
with her event, but most importantly she knows that We Matter connected with
her target audience and had an impact.
There are always lots of ways to include and support local
young people through your company and its’s day-to-day activities. If you would
like more information or support with this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with
the DYW team.