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3M pledges support for new STEM campaign

7 May 2014

3M has pledged its support for a new government campaign to encourage greater participation among women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) career choices.

The national campaign - called ‘Your Life’ - was launched at an event at the Science Museum in London on 7 May.

The ambition is 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 Ambassadors by 50 per cent by the end of 2014. These ambassadors work with schools and colleges to support the teaching of STEM subjects.

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. Activities by the sites will include:

  • visiting schools to show how technology and innovation are used in real life circumstances to advance companies, enhance homes and improve lives
  • hosting visits to 3M sites to see the plants in action and see technology being applied in a workplace environment
  • offering female mentors to students from local schools
  • conducting careers ‘speed dating’ events to highlight the wide and varied careers offered by STEM qualifications.

Managing director Paul Keel commented:  “As a technology company, 3M understands the importance of STEM subjects and people with STEM qualifications form a large part of our employee base. 

“However, the Government and industry alike recognise that too few pupils are staying with these subjects beyond GCSE – an issue that is even more acute amongst female students.

“We therefore aim to help increase this talent pool – our target employees of the future - by working with educational specialists to help make these subjects real and relevant to pupils.”

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said:  “Rising numbers of people are taking maths and physics A levels – but it is still very low.  Too many teenagers, especially girls, don’t realise that maths and physics get you everywhere.  They have the highest earnings and can open doors to careers in business, journalism, technology, engineering - in fact anything you can probably think of.

“That is why I’m so pleased to see some of the UK’s top businesses and organisations showing their commitment by signing the ‘Your Life’ call to action and committing to recruit more science and maths students. Together we can ensure young people have the skills they need to succeed in life and help the UK compete on a global scale.”

For more information see www.yourlife.org.uk/

3M is a trademark of 3M Company.

For further information please contact
Bevis Waddington, Myriad PR.
Tel: 01925 820072