Watt Women in STEM Society are one of the two Heriot-Watt societies nominated as Engineering Society of the Year at the Engineering Talent Awards. We asked them how they managed it:
Since its launch in 2019, Watt Women in STEM has grown from an idea into an organisation with over 100 affiliates and an ambitious timeline of events.
First and foremost, Watt Women has been recognised as a welcoming, open environment for female and non-binary students at Heriot-Watt. This was acknowledged by the Student Union in 2020 when they won the Open Door Award.
Arguably, the society's greatest impact comes from its outreach programme, which encourages and supports more young people to consider pursuing further education and a career in STEM subjects. Last year, World Economic Forum published that less than a third of female students choose to study higher education courses in subjects like math and engineering. To date, Watt Women have delivered interactive sessions to over 350 primary school children, supported members to become STEM Ambassadors, and created educational videos to support students during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, Watt Women led a Global Industry Panel across three Heriot-Watt campuses: Edinburgh, Dubai, and Malaysia. The event attracted 86 academics, students, and professionals and aimed to unite female students from all over the world to meet and listen to influential women in science and engineering.
Alongside this, Watt Women have hosted many other events celebrating International Women's Day (IWD 2020 and 2021), International Women in Engineering Day (INWED 2020 and 2021), organised site visits to Leonardo, and Schlumberger, Socials, and fund-raised for Coaching Scholarships.