WISE has never been busier than it has in 2016/17. We aim to bring like-minded, passionate people together to discuss and inspire each other. Through conferences, speaker events, and socials, we create a network to support and empower women in STEM, no matter their background or degree level. This year we launched our new website, created our mailing list, have organised not one, but two conferences, socials, networking events, and a brand-new Outreach scheme; the committee has worked incredibly hard to give our members the best version of the society possible.
We started the year with our Welcome event, complete with the WISE must-have that is tea and cake, followed by our first WISE Inspire of the new academic year! Attendees heard inspirational talks from invited speakers, followed by the chance to network and have some refreshments. Additionally, we ran a Mock Assessment Centre at the EY office in Birmingham, held a networking and panellist session with KPMG, and ran a coding event with PwC. At each of these, it was wonderful to see our members enjoying themselves engage with each other.
One major event of the year was our Women in Science Forum, an event to bring together a small cohort of people for an afternoon of networking, workshops, and inspiring talks. Everyone was welcome from all backgrounds and interests, with cake and refreshments provided. The event was met with very positive feedback and we hope to run it again next year!
This year, WISE launched our new Outreach scheme. The scheme aims to inspire young girls to achieve their highest potential in STEM backgrounds by sending volunteers into local schools to run sessions, with activities including making bath bombs to playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire with Maths questions. We currently partner with two local schools and work with pupils ranging from year 6 to year 10/11, with several groups coming from disadvantaged backgrounds who are in strong need of positive female role models. The scheme is one of our proudest developments this year, and is one that we hope to see only grow in years to come!
WISE have come a long way this year, and we didn’t do it alone. In November 2016, we held our second Women in Technology Conference in collaboration with CSS and oSTEM. Attendees enjoyed talks and workshops from selected speakers and sponsors, along with the opportunity to network and enjoy some refreshments. To see some highlights from the day, click here! We also held several events with Enactus, including an exclusive insight into Unilever, and a trip into the city for ice skating and the Christmas German market. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we held an exclusive networking and discussion event on women’s support networks, organised with CivSoc and in conjunction with CH2M and ICE; in the evening, we joined with Nucsoc, oSTEM, and BUMS for a cinema trip to see Hidden Figures!
Our last event was our AGM, fittingly held on International Women’s Day – our brand new committee will be introducing themselves soon! To keep up to date with all news from WISE, follow us at @wiseatuob on all social media, and sign up to our mailing list.
Finally, if you’ve enjoyed what we’ve done this year, please support us at the EPS Societies’ Awards by nominating us here! In past years, we’ve won the Head of College Idea of the Year and Outstanding Event Awards, and to win an award this year would be the icing on the cake.
The 2016/17 committee have thoroughly enjoyed our time this year, and would like to thank all of our members, sponsors, and the university for supporting us in all that we do. We look forward to seeing the society grow and evolve in the coming years!