Equality, Diversity and Inclusion events to inspire the next generation of engineers and digital technologists

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts is offering a programme of equality, diversity and inclusion events aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers and digital technologists. Events will explore inclusivity in Tech and Engineering as well as provide useful employability skills.

As part of the University’s commitment to improving diversity, equality and inclusivity in STEM and STEAM, the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, (courtesy of funding from the Student Projects Grant Scheme/Kent Opportunity Fund) has sought the services of Equal Engineers to provide a series of talks and workshop this autumn focused on increasing diversity and inclusivity in Engineering and Tech.  Open to all students (and staff), events will also provide useful employability skills with some of the workshops falling within #Empfest18.  Events include:

Building Confidence, Developing Networks and Facilitating Career Progress on Wednesday 3rd October from 1 – 2 pm in Sibson Lecture Theatre 2
Key learning objectives will include:
– What recruiters are looking for in your soft-skills
– How to handle nerves and coping mechanisms for interviews
– Top tips for building self-confidence and understanding your personal brand
– Learning how to grow connections for benefitting your future career

Mental Health Awareness on Wednesday 10th October from 1 – 2 pm in Jennison Lecture Theatre
Key learning objectives will include:
– Introduction to mental health and wellbeing
– How positive wellbeing enhances productivity and performance
– Top tops for encouraging positive mental health
– Signposting to resources for further reading and action

‘Inclusive Engineering and Technology’ by Dawn Bonfield, MBE CEng FIMMM FICE FIStructE FWES on 17th October from 1 – 2 pm in Jennison Lecture Theatre
Dawn Bonfield is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Inclusive Engineering at Aston University, and Founder & Director of Towards Vision, a Company which aims to work towards a vision of diversity and inclusion in engineering. She is Past President and former Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), and in 2018 is an Ambassador for the Year of Engineering, promoting engineering careers through a roadshow aimed at meeting parents.

Inclusion in Engineering and Technology is a competence that allows engineers and technologists to ensure that their work is inclusive of and accessible to everybody. It is a methodology to ensure that engineering products and services have been designed with 360 degree visibility, and that the needs and requirements of all users – both now and in the future – have been considered. It takes into account traditionally under-represented groups, ensuring that data sets which have been used to inform design are complete and non-biased, and that these groups are represented in the design process, as well as considering the manufacturers, maintainers and users of the finished product or service. It ensures that technology is appropriate for its environment, and that it is produced ethically and with global responsibility in mind.

This talk will look at a number of examples of where an inclusive outlook would improve our engineering and technology products, and this outlook will – in turn – produce engineers who practice inclusive management and recruitment, and establish teams and working cultures which are open and inclusive of all. Finally, Dawn will also talk about microinequalities and practical ways of dealing with the manifestations of unconscious bias.

Introduction to Unconscious Bias on 7th November from 1 – 2 pm in Jennison Lecture Theatre
Key learning objectives will include:
– Develop self awareness of the unconscious mind
– Learn about different types of bias and how it is a form of natural mental shortcut which needs to be managed
– Experiment on how bias occurs in day to day decision-making in the workplace: recruiting and hiring, team dynamics and career development
– Receive action-orientated strategies they can use to remove bias from decisions
– Be empowered to raise awareness of unconscious bias in teams and wider workplace and its potential impact
Priority booking given to students and staff from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts.

Disability in STEM/Making Science Accessible on Monday 3rd December from 1 – 2 pm in Sibson Lecture Theatre 2
The event, taking place on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, will focus on one of the following: physical disability, neurodiversity or learning difficulties.

In addition, the Institution of Engineering and Technology are kindly sponsoring their fifth ‘Jennison Lecture’ featuring Libby Jackson, a British physicist and engineer who works for the UK Space Agency:

 ‘Women in Human Space Flight’ by Libby Jackson on Wednesday 21st November from 6 – 7 pm in Jennison Lecture Theatre
Libby Jackson is the Human Spaceflight and Microgravity Programme Manager for the UK Space Agency.  She is a rare female leader in the upper echelons of a field suffering from an intense gender imbalance. Recent research reveals that women only make up 21% of the workforce in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) industries. On the ground, the space industry is also subject to issues such as gender inequality and internationally the sector is male-dominated. In this talk, and in order to pay tribute to some of the inspirational women who have been instrumental in space flight history, Libby will present stories of female space pioneers, including the UK’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman.  After the lecture, there will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of Libby’s book: ‘A Galaxy of Her Own: Amazing Stories of Women in Space’.

Please click on the hyperlinks within the article to access the relevant Eventbrite booking pages.  For all enquiries, please contact Catherine Butler, Communications and Engagement Manager and EDI Rep.