2015 WISE Diversity Campaign Award Winner

Dawn Bonfield MBE CENG FIMM FICE FISTRUCTE FWES

Director at Towards Vision

What three words sum up your STEM journey so far?

Interesting, varied, rewarding.

Who/what inspired you to join the STEM sector?

At the start of my career it was about learning about how things work, what they are made of, and how to make things better. As time went on it became how to influence change and speak up for what I believed needed to change.

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

Follow your passion. If things aren’t right, then find something else.

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

Put your energies into the things you believe in. Speak up when you need to, and don’t be frightened to represent who you are and what you think.

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

We need you! The world is facing some real challenges right now and we don’t have enough representation from women. We need your thoughts, your views, your experiences, your energies. And you can influence the world from many different disciplines, not just STEM – and you can also join in at any point in your career. The challenges we face need a multi-disciplinary focus and to make sure that our solutions are accessible by all, we need everybody’s involvement. STEM opens so many doors.

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

This is certainly a challenge, and we know that we must do everything we can to stop ourselves from losing some of the ground we have made up recently in terms of gender equality, and the ‘leave no one behind’ agenda. We need to keep the pressure on and ensure that women are represented in these decision-making roles, and challenge the system where they are not.

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

Employ them, inspire them, look after them, and promote them equally. Set targets, accountability for action, and change to a more inclusive culture. Less talk and more action.

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

I think that there’s no turning back on our quest for more equality – we have been collectively awakened to this now – on all fronts – and will only make progress. We have found our voices and will use them to ensure that we are at the table where progress is being made on the bigger global issues that we face.

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