Accenture and STEMettes host 'Girls in STEM' event

28 January 2016

Today Accenture and STEMettes once again are organising one of the largest UK events dedicated to girls, ‘Girls in STEM’, to stimulate them to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and maths. The one-day event consists of several events and takes place in London, Dublin, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester. 1,800 girls will attend.

Founded in 2013, STEMettes is an UK organisation set up to combat the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and inspire the next generation of STEM females. The organisation is run by a group of volunteers from the industry and organises panel events, hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring schemes around the country. So far, the organisation has 6000 girls, and is developing an app to create a global online platform for girls interested in STEM and entrepreneurship.

Accenture has one again decided to partner with STEMettes to host a workshop and career event, aimed at encouraging girls to develop a career in technology. The collaboration reconfirms Accenture’s commitment to narrowing the gap between men and women in the workplace* by educating young females about the possibilities in STEM. Research by the consulting firm shows that 60% girls aged 12 feel that STEM subjects are too difficult to learn, suggesting that the issue needs to be tackled early in the school career of girls. “It is a serious concern that girls believe that STEM subjects are too hard to learn, so the aim of our events is to showcase the applicability of these skills through interactive workshops,” explains Emma McGuigan, Senior Managing Director for Accenture Technology in the UK and Ireland. “The speakers and workshops across the UK and Ireland aim to inspire girls and educate them about the amazing possibilities open to them.”

Accenture and STEMettes hosting Girls in STEM events

Girls in STEM
This year’s event, titled ‘Girls in STEM’, will consist of several workshops during which the girls will be introduced to coding, crypto-analysis, code breaking, digital forensics and cyber security. In addition, they will be able to hear from inspirational speakers from the STEM sector, including representatives from the BBC and Women in Gaming, as well as Naomi Mitchison, an IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year, and Carrie Bishop, Director of Futuregov. Every event will also feature a hackathon led by the STEMettes, during which the girls will compete using the Hakitzu Code Warriors game, using JavaScript to programme their way to victory. 

Girls in STEM kicks-off this morning at five locations in the UK and Ireland: London, Dublin, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester, and is open to 1,800 girls aged 11 – 15. The event builds on last year’s successful workshop, which was organised in Newcastle and attended by 300 girls. “By expanding our STEM events to five locations in 2016, we hope to encourage even more girls to commit to studying STEM subjects,” comments Olly Benzecry, Country Managing Director for Accenture in the UK and Ireland. “As an employer providing STEM-based jobs, we are committed to supporting the work the government is already doing to ensure young people are excited about careers in STEM.”

Emma McGuigan | Olly Benzecry | Anne-Marie Imafidon

“We’re excited to be partnering with Accenture for the second year in a row to run such a large event for girls in STEM”, concludes Anne-Marie Imafidon Co-founder of STEMettes. “This year, the strong attendance at so many locations shows the need for these events nationally. I’m excited to be bringing these girls on their own personal STEMette journeys, hopefully ending up in industry.”

* The firm is supporting several women’s programs and initiatives, including mentoring, networking, training and development courses to help attract, retain and advance women. Examples include its partnership with Girls Who Code, aimed at assisting young women to secure a career in technology, and its support for the Girl Geeks Campus set up by Girl Geeks, a community that stimulates women to pursue a career in STEM.


Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.