Students, professionals and academics joined together to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 at an event organised by Low Carbon Eco Innovatory (LCEI) with LJMU’s Faculty of Engineering & Technology.
The event, hosted at Liverpool’s MerseyMade, explored ‘The Sustainable Workforce of the Future’, hearing from key speakers about their journeys and the importance of a diverse workforce in the engineering & technology sector.
Opening up discussions around equality and inclusivity in the future workforce and how we can all help to #breakthebias, the informal event offered inspiring stories from varying perspectives and a constructive platform to exchange views in a truly relaxed and creative space.
Key discussion points included:
- Engaging girls in STEM at an early age and challenging gender stereotypes in play
- Education – rather than teaching STEM subjects in silo, encouraging an integrative & creative style of thinking across the board
- Importance of male champions and strong male and female role models promoting diversity & inclusivity
- Importance of the continuation and growth of flexible working for all to enable reciprocal support
Speakers were LJMU student Sara Singh; Ingrid Lovatt, Financial Director at Hemsec – one of the UK's leading manufacturers of insulated panels; Dr Abbie Romano, LJMU alumnae and Advanced Research Engineer for MTC Liverpool and Dr Ariel Edesess who worked with LCEI for a number of years and is now leading on sustainability with Hill Dickinson LLP, along with Dr Denise Lee from LJMU’s School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment, Di Fitch from LJMU Professional Services and Shulah Jones, LJMU Graduate Futures Project Manager.
Based at LJMU, LCEI works with SMEs in the Liverpool City Region, opening up access to world-class university expertise and facilities, to help them reduce their carbon emissions and develop innovative low carbon products, processes and services. The project is part funded by the ERDF and is a partnership between LJMU, University of Liverpool and Lancaster University.
Lesley Lambert, Business Liaison Officer with LCEI said: “The passion our guests and speakers had was clear. We need to inspire our young women and encourage them to realise their potential and the roles they can play to ensure a sustainable future.”
MerseyMade is a studio space, shop and café promoting local produce and creatives. Founder Vicky Gawith said: “'MerseyMade is a female-founded, inclusive business, which showcases many female-led businesses from our region and understands the importance of a united front.
“It was a memorable moment for us to see a wonderful array of women involved in STEM enter into our creative space on International Women's Day 2022 and discuss their experiences and aspirations.”
Hemsec’s Ingrid Lovatt said: “I came away feeling inspired by the passion and the intelligence of the debate. It was not a theoretical talking shop; it was positive and constructive. We shared the ways in which we are each already doing ‘the right thing’ as well as great ideas for how we can do more of it.
“At Hemsec, we have the simple aim of making a positive impact in the world. In my view, businesses are well-positioned to be amongst those who ‘do good’, because we can make those decisions for ourselves. In larger institutions it is harder, but when each person does all the good that they can, every day, change happens across the bigger picture.”