For the first time ever, there are more than 1 million women working in core STEM roles across the UK. Join us as we celebrate this significant milestone and inspire more women to become


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By putting your face to the million, you will help us build an interactive photo collage that celebrates the brilliant contributions women like you are making – through science, technology, engineering and maths – to create real and lasting change in the UK today.

We encourage all women working in STEM to upload your photo and story. Learn more about some of the inspiring women who are making a difference in their fields by hovering on the images opposite.

My parents inspired me to get into STEM. My Dad, as an Engineer, talked about Engineering with such pride, as the role of ‘Getting Sh!t Done’. Both my Mum and my Dad always encouraged my sister & I, never talked about gender roles, and in themselves defied some of the cultural norms around gender roles. It never even occured to me that ‘women can’t be engineers!’

Lauren McMullan, General Manager, London (Design & Engineering Office) Shark Ninja

My parents have always been my inspiration. They work incredibly hard and I grew up watching them selflessly sacrificed many things to ensure me and my sister received our educations.

Dr Septavera Sharvia, Assistant Professor in Computer Science, University of Hull

My engineering teacher, MR. SHEPHARD inspired me to become an engineer because he was always enthusiastic about the subject and was very encouraging, and he believed that I could achieve a great career in engineering. As a result, I was filled with so much confidence.

Frida Nzaba, Manufacturing Engineer & WISE Young Professionals’ Board Member

My main motivation was to be part of global change and to solve problems we are confronted with using science. Overall, there have been many role models along the way and I hope I can also be a role model that inspires other young people to pursue a career in STEM!

Halimatu Abubakar, Operations Future Leadership Graduate & WISE Young Professionals’ Board Member

WISE inspired me, at the age of 17 to choose Engineering as a career... Thank you WISE!

Sarah Haslam, Chief Program Engineer - Engines, Ford Motor Company


1. 2 minutes

Upload your photo and story

2. 5 minutes

Snap a selfie with our #1ofTheMillion sign, tell us why you are passionate about STEM.

3. 10 minutes

Help us spread the word - download, customise and share our campaign material to encourage others to take part

#1ofTheMillion Day

Snap a selfie with our #1ofTheMillion sign, tell us why you are passionate about STEM and upload your image to the WISE Twitter account. Challenge your friends, colleagues and role models to do the same by tagging them in your post and don’t forget to use #1ofTheMillion.

If you are not a woman in STEM, you can still take part! Post a picture with our Proud to support #1oftheMillion sign and tell us why you and/or your company support gender balance in STEM.


In celebration of the 1 million, we will be highlighting the impact made by our past WISE Award Winners.

With the help of our partners, we will select 20 previous WISE Award winners to be featured in our WISE 20 Showcase. Highlighting the individuals and organisations whose stories have the most potential to inspire others to follow in their footsteps, the showcase will be unveiled at an exclusive event prior to being posted here.

Are you a past WISE Award Winner? Get in touch

Learn more about supporting the showcase


The WISE 20 have been chosen to reflect the diversity of experiences, accomplishments and challenges faced by previous WISE Award winners. Role models, such as our previous winners, are an invaluable tool in our mission towards achieving greater gender balance in STEM. Through the WISE 20, we want to tell even more stories and encourage further action.


Flet Naval Ships Combat Systems Director at BAE Systems

Be proud, be bold, and use your voice to amplify others

Amelia’s Story

2017 WISE Woman in industry Winner

What three words sum up your STEM journey so far?

Exciting, challenging, impactful

Who/what inspired you to join the STEM sector?

My Physics teacher and my father

What is the best career advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t be afraid to say yes to a new opportunity – listen to those who believe in you

What advice would you give to women who are #1ofTheMillion working in STEM today?

Be proud, be bold, and use your voice to amplify others

What advice would you give to women and girls to encourage them to join the STEM sector?

That if they want to make an impact doing what they love while being creative, STEM is a great place to start.

Given the unique challenges we face due to COVID-19, how can we keep gender balance and diversity on the agenda?

Keep communicating, engaging to highlight role models or life stories of people overcoming obstacles or doing great things in challenging times. Lots of people are turning to Social Media and virtual networking now they are stuck at home, so we need to keep D&I on the digital media agenda.

What can organisations do to increase/inspire more women into STEM?

Highlight role models, provide mentoring opportunities, talk about the UK skills gap ad all the exciting industries that are seeking people with a STEM background to help drive prosperity

What do you envision for the STEM sector over the next 20 years?

As companies seek to increase employees’ proportion of Working from home to reduce office costs, the STEM sector will become more virtual / digital which will be a great leveler and make it more inclusive. The virtual office environment takes away any issues with presentism and allows much better flexible working. The digital revolution will change many STEM roles, which will become much more driven by data analytics and AI – the critical skills will be creating the right models to do the analysis.



We also celebrate by looking back over our WISE Award Winners of the past 20 years, to see what they achieved and how their story developed since winning their award

Professor Helen Atkinson CBE, FREng

Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University's School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing at Cranfield University

I would advise any woman to ‘go for it.’ There are so many possibilities available to women...

Helen’s Story

2010 WISE Leadership and Inspiration to Others

After graduating from Girton College Cambridge with a first class degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science, Helen started her career at Harwell for the UK Atomic Energy Authority.  She has since progressed to establish an outstanding record of achievement in industrially relevant research in the area of metals technology and manufacture and currently heads the Mechanics of Materials Research Group at the University of Leicester.

The first of her family to go to University, Helen developed an interest in science from an early age finding the structure of materials ‘beautiful and exciting’.

Helen has served on a variety of national bodies including the Government’s implementation group for the strategy on women in SET (2004-2007) and was involved in the creation of the UKRC.

Since winning her Award in 2010 Helen has been Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester from 2012-2016 with responsibility for 800 students. She was the was the first woman President of the Engineering Professors’ Council in its 50-year history and has also served as a Vice President and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In 2017 Helen became the first female Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing at Cranfield University with a staff of 400, 1500 students and a turnover of £50M. Cranfield ranks in the top 50 in the world in Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering with only Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial and Manchester above it in that ranking. It is the only university in the world with the combination of its own airport, its own aircraft, its own pilots, its own air traffic controllers and has the first digital air traffic control tower in the UK. Helen is incredibly proud to be Head of this School with its distinguished history.

I was surprised and delighted to receive the Award for leadership and inspiration to others. I had never really thought of myself in that way. Since then I have realised increasingly how important it is for people to see that you can progress to high positions of responsibility whilst having had periods of part-time working and caring responsibilities. I am very grateful to all those who have advised me on my career progression and the ‘building blocks’ of a strong CV and the experience needed to lead people well.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Without a doubt becoming a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.  At the time I was one of 27 women, alongside 1,400 men! The Royal Academy of Engineering is the engineers’ equivalent of the Royal Society.

What would your advice be for other women thinking of starting a career in SET?

I would advise any woman to ‘go for it.’ There are so many possibilities available to women in SET.  On the engineering side, it still is a virtually all male environment but there are lots of opportunities available to women.  My children’s generation doesn’t seem to see any barriers to what they want to achieve.  They feel that they can do anything.  I would say that women in SET can go on and achieve anything.

I was very excited and honored to be named as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement. I know that I’m in esteemed company.  When I started my career 30 years ago it was difficult to progress within SET if you worked part time.  It just goes to show how far we’ve come that women are clearly recognised within SET.

Other influential award-winners