National Physical Laboratory

NPL celebrates its work actively promoting diversity on the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science

"Diverse teams are more creative and better at finding innovative solutions for challenging problems. This is just one of the many reasons why at NPL we have been actively recruiting women into all functions across the laboratory and this undoubtedly makes us a better company with a progressive and successful working environment," explains Dr Pete Thompson FREng, NPL's CEO. "We are proud of our activities and achievements in increasing the number of girls and women working in science, and are relentless in doing more to continue to increase that number."

NPL celebrates its work actively promoting diversity on the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science

11th February is the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which aims to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. At NPL we are proud to be involved in outreach events to encourage girls into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers and to have a 21st century working environment which supports women in their science careers.

NPL has been running an active outreach programme for many years and in 2018 we had interactions with approximately 51,000 students, from primary school children through to master's students, as well as 15,000 members of the public. We visited schools, exhibitions, festivals, companies and universities to explain and demonstrate what a career in science, specifically at NPL, would look and feel like. With nearly half our 70 dedicated STEM ambassadors, and many more active outreach volunteers, being female, we are able to have role models that girls can relate to and really demonstrate how they could fit into our workplace.

We have targeted the development of a diverse talent pipeline of apprentices, work experience students, sandwich course students, summer placement students and postgraduate researchers, and now have a healthy balance of males and females for all these activities. Our apprenticeship programme was launched in 2013 and has had 91 apprentices, 40 of whom have been female. Our NPL Academy has approximately a third applicants and attendees who are girls. We also support the Blue Broccoli and Nanobots book which includes 32 fictional female role models, each in a different exciting STEM career, including Molly the Metrologist!

Andrew Hanson, Outreach Manager at NPL describes his work: "NPL's Outreach team does its utmost to encourage young people into science. We prioritise events involving potential female scientists, and capitalise on our brilliant female role models from all levels of seniority in the organisation, including our apprenticeship programme."

Approximately 28% of our science and engineering staff are women, and in recent years we have taken steps to continue to improve the gender balance. Claire Santelli, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, explains: "The need for gender equality is clear in the workplace, we will continue our great work and progress towards gender equality, with programmes such as the Springboard Women's Development Programme, Project Juno, the Daphne Jackson Trust, Gender Pay Gap and flexible working arrangements to support all employees in achieving their desired work life balance."

Find out more about women in science, engineering and technology at NPL

Last Updated: 13 Feb 2019
Created: 11 Feb 2019


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