EMPOWERING women. Moving the dial on gender

EMPOWER: A positive action career development training programme giving women the tools for career success.

In the UK, women make up just 22% of the core STEM workforce [1] and this reduces further at senior levels. Just 9% of chemistry professors are women [2]. Around 30% of the Faraday Institution research community are women but at a more senior level this drops significantly (22% of co-investigators are women).

Faraday Institution is committed to creating a collaborative, diverse and inclusive environment and recognises that by celebrating the contribution of people from a multitude of backgrounds, research disciplines and career stages, with the range of ideas, opinions, life experiences and knowledge they bring, research excellence will flourish.

The organisation set up its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group in 2019 and has since launched positive action initiatives, complementing those already set up within its member universities, to address the gender imbalance and other inclusivity issues. Attracting, recruiting and enabling women to progress in careers in the battery sector is a key objective.

In 2020, the Faraday Institution launched an EMPOWER Women programme led by Skills 4. EMPOWER is a positive action career development training programme giving women the tools for career success. A cohort of 15 talented women was formed from across the UK’s battery research community, from PhD Researchers to Project Leaders, and supported through a six-month programme consisting of four sessions on-line, growth groups and one on-one coaching delivered by experts at Skills 4, all designed to help women further their careers.

The results speak for themselves:

By the Numbers
100%increased in confidence and self-belief
44%have taken on more responsibility
33%have taken on new role or received promotion
89%believe the programme will contribute to improved workplace culture
100%would recommend this programme to a colleague

The first Faraday Institution EMPOWER cohort now make up the core of a supportive and ongoing women’s network for the Faraday Institution community.

It has been a huge boost to my confidence and opened my eyes to a new way of looking at my career”

Gives you a toolbox for re-assessing yourself, your aspirations and your career pathway”

This is a very supportive and amazing group and community! I believe this programme will benefit workplace culture”

In 2021, following the success of EMPOWER, the organisation introduced THRIVE, a positive action career development programme for Black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals in the UK battery community.

Read the case study from WISE highlighting other Faraday Institution initiatives to attract, recruit and empower women in STEM careers.

  1. WISE 2018 workforce statistics.
  2. RSC Report, Breaking the Barriers

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