Sarah Chapman, EMEA Technical Manager, 3M
After her aspirations of a ballet career were halted due to injury Sarah became inspired by her Chemistry teacher who revealed the complex science behind maintaining consistency in a well-known soft drink. Discovering her passion for science and despite an (ongoing) struggle with maths, Sarah graduated with a first-class degree in Chemistry.
Through her varied career, she grasped the huge diversity of roles that the STEM industry offers, many of which are invisible to those outside the world of science. Sarah has channelled her passion for encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers, whilst supporting other women within the industry, over the last fifteen years.
A Technical Manager for global science company 3M, she sees first-hand the importance of using strengths like collaboration and creativity, which can drive innovation and highlight the value that women bring to the traditionally male-dominated STEM roles. Reaching over 3000 young people through various activities including STEM clubs, work experience placements, mentoring and career talks, Sarah has been a driving force behind 3M’s award-winning community programme. As a judge for their Young Innovator’s competition Sarah witnesses the brilliant ideas that are presented, reinforcing her belief that good ideas can come from anywhere and that diversity is critical to innovation. As the project manager for the 3M Innovation Centre, she has been very proud to see it fully utilised as it welcomes over 10,000 visitors who get to see the practical application of science to everyday life. Like many working parents, Sarah actively finds effective ways to maximise her impact, and takes opportunities to share her passion for STEM, using technology to connect with students in Zambia, appearing on the BBC and founding a successful Science Supper Club to encourage children into science (whilst enjoying pizza!). Recently joining the board at Farnborough College of Technology has given insight into how industry can support the education sector which she is keen to share with other organisations in line with the WISE Campaign call to action for us to all take ownership to create a system which helps more girls and women realise their potential in STEM and join together to reach widely across society breaking down barriers to access the diverse talent that is so necessary to bridge the STEM skills gap.”