3M has pledged its support for a new government campaign to encourage greater participation among women in science, technology and engineering career choices.
The national campaign – called ‘Your Life’ – was launched at the Science Museum in London on 7 May by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Its ambitions are to double the number of women studying engineering and technology degrees at undergraduate level by 2030; boost the number of women pursuing careers in engineering and technology; and increase the number of young people studying maths and physics at 18.
The campaign aims to achieve these targets through a partnership of government departments, private companies, civil society and educational institutions working together to engage young people.
3M is among the companies that have signed a pledge to make a firm contribution towards the success of the campaign.
The company has committed itself to increasing the number of female 3M scientists and engineers who volunteer to become STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Ambassadors by 50 per cent by the end of 2014. It has also pledged to ensure that all 3M sites in the UK with more than 100 employees partner with at least one local school specifically to encourage female interest in STEM careers.
3M’s involvement in the government campaign has been led by Carmen Byrne who leads the company’s European Drug Delivery Systems Division.
Carmen explained: “3M has been championing for many years the importance of encouraging students to choose to study STEM subjects, so this government campaign is a natural fit for us.
“But by signing the pledge of support we are committing ourselves to go that extra mile. We have set ourselves a firm target of increasing our number of female STEM Ambassadors and working more closely with partnership schools. And it’s a target we must reach.”
3M’s 1,000 hours community challenge
As well as supporting STEM activities with local schools, 3M encourages employee volunteering across a range of community projects.
In May, a team of 80 senior managers from across 3M UK and Ireland came together for a day’s hard labour to help with community projects in Berkshire to kick-start the leadership team's 1,000 hours community challenge to be completed during 2014.
The group split into four teams with one spending the day at Garth Hill College in Bracknell, where they prepared the ground for a student garden project, and another at the Jealotts Hill Community Landshare project in Bracknell where they helped start a project to plant a wildflower meadow.
A third team headed for Newbury where they wheelbarrowed 16 tons of gravel to lay a new pathway to improve visitor access to Snelsmore Common Country Park and a fourth team spent the day carrying out outdoor maintenance work at the Ravenswood Village centre for people with learning disabilities at Crowthorne.
3M managing director Paul Keel was among those rolling up their sleeves and getting digging at Garth Hill College. He commented: “Our 1,000 hours community challenge gives 3M the opportunity to strengthen the communities in which we operate and we’re delighted we’ve been able to make a real difference.”