Well, it’s been one emotional roller coaster of a month! Launching a timetable of super lit courses is one thing but having our CEO be nominated for an award and having to wait for results is another!
Dr Kevin Stenson, CEO Smallpeice Trust (incorporating Arkwright Engineering Scholarships), recently attended the prestigious WISE awards. These awards are am opportunity to recognise champions who are influencing other men to improve gender balance in STEM, from classroom to boardroom.
Proud father, husband, Mancunian and James Bond fanatic, Kevin was one of three hundred inspirational applicants, to reach the Wise Man of the Year Award Final. Aside from detailed application forms and rigorous interviewing, nominees had to demonstrate how they were doing their bit to encourage and fight for gender equality in STEM. Judges for The WISE Man of the Year award were looking for evidence of the nominees’ actions in education or industry that went beyond their day job and that delivered results.
Dr Stenson has worked at the Trust for five years, introduced a new philosophy and culture in which staff are bold in their thinking and push the boundaries of what is possible to encourage girls into engineering. The Smallpeice Trust is the first organisation to develop a girls only engineering educational course for one hundred 13 -14 year olds, just one of eight girls-only courses that the Trust has on offer. These courses, alongside an introduction to Family led engineering days has contributed to the number of girls on Smallpeice courses increasing from 32% to 46% since 2014.
At the awards ceremony Kevin was pleased to receive recognition from the judges and was awarded the place of runner up, no mean feat when you see the calibre of men that applied. We like to think he was a very close second, Smallpeice having been name checked by the WISE CEO in her closing address. Kevin spent a wonderful evening networking with other STEM fanatics and industry leaders that we hope to build relationships with in the future. Events like this are such a privilege to be part of. It would be great to win but being invited and given a platform to share what we do with so many others is priceless. WISE are mentoring one of our 2018 Arkwright Scholars and it was great to hear that they highlighted the work we do as being vital to young people wanting to pursue a career in engineering.
Dr Kevin Stenson said: I am immensely proud that The Smallpeice Trust has been recognised for our work in driving gender equality with young people. There is still much we need to do to achieve gender equality (remember only 9% of engineers in the UK are female!), and so future recognition will be forthcoming.”
Onwards and upwards!