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Women have historically been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths ie STEM fields.

We asked Jennifer Reid, a UWS School of Engineering student, to tell us about her role as an Interconnect representative:

Interconnect is a programme run by Equate Scotland to encourage women into underrepresented subjects such as the STEM subjects. The programme also forms a support network and various programmes to encourage women already in these areas of work. Interconnect has many representatives spread out over the majority of the universities in Scotland and when I was selected for UWS I was the first one for the University.

My first step was to attend a meeting with the other reps and get an idea and advice on how to set up a group. As I want to be a teacher in the future, I decided that as well as support girls in my university, I wanted to encourage high school children to choose subjects that would allow them to move into STEM subjects at a higher level.

In order to do this effectively I became a STEM Ambassador. To gain members for the group I attended the Freshers Fair on the Hamilton campus and contacted the careers advisor for Engineering (as this is my subject) as well as my head lecturer who were both very helpful and offered any support possible.

I attended as many of the Equate workshops and networking events as possible to make contacts, and these connections led to site visits for the group of about 8 girls to Bridge of Weir Leather and Rolls Royce. During my first trimester being a representative I also went along to a careers fair at a local high school to promote Equates philosophies and offer advice to any potential STEM students.

Through the role I have been able to join the committee who are applying for UWS to gain their Athena Swan award and have been able to discuss continuing Equate’s work within the university with the Manager for Equality and Diversity.

In the future I am planning for two women in the industry to come to the University and give a talk to the group about their experiences. I hope to continue working closely with the university and would like the work done at Hamilton campus to be spread across the other campuses as well and to include more disciplines.

For more information visit:

http://www.equatescotland.org.uk/students

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Interconnect-Network/

https://www.facebook.com/STEMettes

You can also contact Jennifer via her student email account: B00230641@studentmail.uws.ac.uk

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