Bridging the STEM Talent Gap
1/11/23, 1:30 PM
In this Diversify the Future Q&A series, we interview our Head of Communications, Laura Brown.
Laura was introduced to STEM early on with a nurse and engineer as parents. From her first marketing jobs that ranged from law to logistics - she found her passion within technology and engineering. Laura talks about her own school experiences, how she feels STEM education has progressed, and what still needs to be done to make it an accessible career path for all.
STEM - Growing Communities
Head of Communications for Diversify the Future, Laura Brown, grew up in the UK; in our latest Q&A, Laura shares her early experiences of STEM education and why she believes building communities that work and support one another is critical to diversifying STEM.
Can you tell us about your early experiences that shaped your interest in STEM?
My Dad was an Engineer in the British Royal Air Force, and my Uncle was in R&D for Proctor and Gamble, so from an early age, I was surrounded by stories of careers with STEM. My mum was also interested in Biology and is a nurse, and our house was full of books on science and engineering. My dad is also a maths fan, and I remember sitting at the kitchen table during summer school holidays reciting times tables!
What was STEM education like for you growing up?
Growing up in the 90s, I look back and my school did not do enough to encourage girls to pursue an interest in STEM subjects. I didn't enjoy IT lessons; our science lessons were basic and dated.
I have a daughter in primary school, and the teachers bring the topics to life; she's engaged, interested, and excited by these subject areas.
Passion and relevancy are necessary for people (at any age) to spark curiosity to learn and love STEM.
How did you spark your curiosity and passion for STEM?
I've worked in several sectors during my career, from law to logistics, and when I started working in technology, I developed an insatiable need to learn everything I could - and still do; it's never-ending in terms of developments, so keeping your finger on the pulse is critical - it's ever-evolving, breakthroughs are made every day, and technology, when applied correctly, will shape the world for the better.
STEM and the future, what's next?
For the next generation of STEM talent, future forecasting of the skills and education framework needs to be addressed; when it comes to STEM diversity, education and career pathways need to be made accessible to all.
From my own experiences, STEM wasn't overly encouraged when I was at school. Only traditional career options were presented to me.
Times have changed since then, and it's encouraging to see that more must be done.
Educators and Employers need to work together to build an actionable roadmap that puts D&I front and center, to ensure that upcoming STEM talent can be supported to enter the industries and access jobs that will positively change their lives for the better.
Can you tell me more about your role at Diversify?
As Head of Communications, I'm excited about our work and its impacting and enriching diverse communities. The individuals we're supporting to enter scholarships across STEM will not only improve and change their lives but generations to come.
I work with our team to support the promotion and accessibility of the scholarship program, helping employers get involved from a partnership level to advocating for diversity in STEM.
If you're an employer keen to understand more about Diversify the Future Foundation, you can fill in the contact us section of our website, and we'll be in touch soon!