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For staff


During the adult working life we transition from education towards work, navigating the challenges and obstacles in career progression. This process is often described as more difficult by some due to a lack of equality and diversity – but does better equality and diversity make a difference to those in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM)? It raises the question as to why women are needed in STEMM and why Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) are also needed.

BME participation in higher education (in both undergraduate and postgraduate study) has increased in the UK over the last 15 years in STEMM subjects. However, promotion for BME academics and staff to senior positions remains stark. Of the 19,000 professors in the UK, 4,750 are female, 90 are black male and 25 are black female (2016-17 dataset). The UK is losing out on talent which could generate innovative new research and create a fairer society. A varied life experience brings fresh perspectives and different skill sets, and for diverse groups, there are more skills, which enable new paths to problem solving.

Recent research (Delivering through Diversity, McKinsey 2018) shows that companies that rank highly for gender and racial diversity have higher financial returns. Gender diversity in management produces more than 20% higher profitability, and this rises to 33% for ethnic and cultural diversity. 

The University of Cambridge in its 2017-18 Equality and Diversity Report stated its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion and tackling gender inequality. Cambridge Association of Women in Science and Engineering (CamAWISE) and the University's Equality and Diversity team have organised a panel event on 11th April 2019 with University of Cambridge BME researchers in STEMM subjects who will share their career journeys. They will provide insights to their dreams and aspirations which have brought them to this point in their careers, and the event joins the dots between higher education and work life by celebrating the University of Cambridge’s phenomenal BME women who are creating change in their fields.

The event will be chaired by Caroline S. Asante, Interim Communications Lead at the Centre for Scence and Policy, Founder and Director of Sustainability and Engagement, Cambridge Eco Living Festival. The panellists are from a cross section in their career points, departments and geographical heritages. The panellists will be:

Name Role Research area
Dr Sohoni Kar-Narayan Principal Investigator, Department of Materials and Metallurgy Nanogenerators and energy harvesting materials
Heba Hamad PhD candidate, Department of Engineering Concrete for carbon sequestration
Carol Nkechi Ibe PhD candidate, Department of Plant Sciences Intracellular rice root colonisation by fungi
Professor Kay-Tee Khaw Physician and academic, Department of Public Health and Primary care Maintenance of health in later life and the causes and prevention of chronic diseases.

For more information and to register for the event, please visit the Eventbrite page.

Thursday, 11 April, 2019 - 12:00 to 13:30
Lecture Theatre 2, Judge Business School


Panellists include: top row, left to right, Dr Sohini Kar-Narayan; Professor Kay-Tee Khaw; Heba Hamad. Bottom row, left to right, Caroline S. Asante (Chair), Carol Nkechi Ibe.

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