Development and inspiration from 15 minutes to 24 hours


There has never been a more important time to ensure that you are looking after yourself. We know we should be reducing stress by taking deep breaths, taking more exercise and switching off from technology, but we also need to take care of our careers and personal development as well. By doing this, we can boost our confidence and reduce stress. We’ve put together a few ideas that take from just 15 minutes to 24 hours; find out what you could do.

15 minutes – become a role model and inspire others

Are you 18-30 and working in STEM? Share your experience of working in STEM and help inspire future generations to follow in your footsteps by signing up to be a role model on our My Skills My Life careers resource. We are aiming to reach 200,000 girls in the next four years through the resource which helps girls identify what kind of career in STEM will suit their personality and connects them with real-life role models. We are also introducing My Skills My Life, Our Planet; a version dedicated to helping girls discover STEM roles that are helping to create a sustainable future.

To date, just over a year after launching the resource, 10,000 quizzes have been completed and 600 role models have signed up to it, but we still need more, so if you’ve got five minutes, please sign up here.

If you don’t feel you could be a role model, please take a minute to share the resource with your networks:

20 minutes – catch up on the latest thinking in diversity and inclusion in STEM

Gina Rippon at the 2019 WISE Conference

With twenty minutes free, you can start to catch up on the latest diversity and inclusion research in STEM. Various reports have been published recently which provide shine a light on the current situation and share best practice, including our own partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering into the engineering gender pay gap, our work with Amazon on women in innovation, and the World Economic Forum’s recent report on the gender gap.

For deeper reads, try Caroline Criado-Perez’s recent Invisible Women or Gina Rippon’s The Gendered Brain. The Gender Equality Paradox also makes interesting reading.

24 hours – learn a new skill

In just twenty-four hours, with the help of online learning, you could develop new skills with institutions like your professional body, the Open University, Future Learn, and the Institute of Coding.

All of which offer short and longer courses, many of which are free, on numerous subjects including technology, management and STEM, from organisations and universities around the world. Here are a few suggestions we’ve picked out:

  • If you are looking to return to STEM after a break try the Open University’s Returning to STEM free 24 hour course, introduced by Dr Sue Black it provides advice and guidance on how to start your return journey into STEM.
  • If you are new to leading a team or are thinking about progressing into a leadership role, the OU also offers a free 24 hour leadership course which explores what makes a good leader, helps you to recognise leadership challenges and identify skills you need to develop to be a good leader.
  • Try Future Learn’s Professional Resilience course which takes just 3 hours over two weeks to teach you how to understand resilience, learn skills to improve your confidence to develop your own strength to face work challenges.
  • If you are thinking about learning to code, take a look at the courses on offer at the Institute of Coding– there are a mixture of free and paid for courses from universities around the UK. You’ll also find many opportunities to learn online with challenges and communities you can try at home to find out if it’s for you.