International law firm and regional powerhouse, Gowling WLG, demonstrated its recently-stated commitment to gender parity when its commercial litigation partner, Sue Dearden, helped Edgbaston High School for Girls set up and run a careers fair aimed at encouraging careers in STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The fair, held during Science Week (16 March), was aimed at Year 10 girls and comprised a series of workshops and speeches from corporate giants and academic faculties to demonstrate the wide range of academic disciplines and careers available in STEM subjects.
Lord Robert Winston and Dr Tilly Blyth, a lead curator from London's Science Museum, were keynote speakers, and the students attended four workshops, covering:
- The Beagle Lander (Mars)
- Google Maths
- Complex structures
In addition, a careers fair hosting universities and companies working in STEM, including Wates, Arup, Rolls Royce, The Binding Site, CGI Industries, GKN, QinetiQ, Telefonica, Women in Nuclear and Tarmac, was held to introduce the students to women working in the industries.
One Year 10 student said: "I really enjoyed the careers fair as it gave the opportunity to explore different available careers in the STEM subjects. All the representatives were really helpful and answered all the questions I had. There were also exciting activities such as building, as well as the opportunity to see liquid nitrogen in action which was really interesting."
Gowling WLG partner Sue Dearden added: "With International Women's Day taking place last week and it being Science Week this week, it's been a real privilege to help organise this event and enlist the help of some of my contacts to show these young women that they can do anything they want to, that STEM subjects aren't the sole province of men and that there's far more to working in a STEM industry than being a white-coated scientist.
"While it's great to see celebrity-led initiatives like Emma Watson's #HeforShe, I wanted the students attending the event to see that there are women at all levels of industry and in all industries, and that there are no closed off careers for women."
Gowling WLG trainees Alison Garton and Khemi Salhan attended along with Sue, and did a great job on the Gowling WLG stand, giving the students insights into life at an international law firm.