WISE Campaign |
The WISE Campaign (Women into Science and Engineering) encourages women and girls to value and pursue science, technology, engineering and maths-related courses in school or college and move on into related careers and progress. Its mission statement aims to facilitate understanding of these disciplines among women and girls and the opportunities which they present at a professional level. It is operated by UKRC trading as WISE (company number 07533934).
The campaign began on 17 January 1984, headed by The Baroness Platt of Writtle, a qualified mechanical engineer, at which time women made up 7% of graduate engineers and 3% of professional engineers in the UK. It was a collaboration between the Engineering Council and the Equal Opportunities Commission, originally viewed as a one-year campaign "Women into Science and Engineering" WISE'84.
One of WISE's main objectives is to listen to students and women qualified or working in these sectors, and understand and voice their opinions to academic institutions, policy-makers and employers. It then works creatively with delivery agencies and others, offering models, tools and approaches to support them in challenging traditional approaches, so as to demonstrate equitable involvement. WISE combats gender stereotypes to get more girls and women involved in careers where female participation was once considered near impossible.
WISE operates throughout the UK, with specialist committees in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Volunteers, from industry and relevant organisations, attend the various WISE committee meetings, and undertake projects with WISE.
In 2011 the UKRC - an organisation specialising in gender equality in science, engineering and technology - became part of WISE. Trudy Norris-Grey, the Chair of UKRC since 2007 then became Chair of WISE. WISE counts The Princess Royal, Dame Julia Higgins, Kate Bellingham and Joanna Kennedy as its patrons. The Founding Chair and Patron The Baroness Platt of Writtle died on 1 February 2015, aged 91.