WISE Young Professionals’ Board at the 2019 WISE Awards
The 2019 WISE awards were held on Thursday the 7th of November at the prestigious 8 Northumberland Avenue, London. 8 Northumberland Avenue has become a WISE favourite and it is not the first time the venue has been selected by WISE.
The evening was hosted by Fran Scott. Fran started the evening with her pyrotechnical skills by lighting the word fire, on fire. We then had Trudy Norris-Grey, the WISE chair, say a few words.
This was followed by a very welcomed dinner that surpassed expectation and beat all previous awards dinners. We had Jia-Yan Gu a 2012 WISE awards winner and WYPB alumni speak on something close to my heart, minority representation in gender parity. Minorities face further challengers in STEM on top of the female challenges in the STEM industry.Her inspiring talk touched on her background where men and women were treated equally in skills and how parents and teachers shape a child’s perceptions on STEM.
Next, we entered the awards portion of the evening. The sponsors, winners and their category are as below:
- Royal Airforce – Susan Harris – Technician Award
- Goldman Sachs – Jo Haslam – Computing Award
- Lloyds Banking Group –Emma Veale – Emerging Technology Award
- Airbus – Sarah Chapman – Outreach and Engagement Award
- AWE – Zeb Farooq – Man Award
- Intel – EniolaFujamade- One to Watch Award
- Bam Nuttall – Jaclyn bell – Rising Star Award
- Rolls-Royce PLC –Diana Biggs – Woman in Industry Award
The awards showcase the talented women around us. In the words of Helen Wollaston WISE chief Executive, ‘their achievements remind us all who care about gender balance in STEM how much remains to be done and how critically important it is that we work together to ramp up the pace of change’. After the awards were handed out, Helen Wollaston thanked the guests and welcome them to the after-party in the Old Billiard Room.
Fran ended the evening with statements to women from women, which she wrote on softballs, loaded them into a barrel and launched them up with a bang. Some of the statements that caught my attention were:
- You don’t have to stay in your lane
- No more Tomboys
- Just say it
- No more “too much”
- Celebrate your successes if you don’t, no one else will
Among this, she had the anecdote “If only women designed dresses” – on the lack of pockets in female clothing; which rang true to all of us present.
One of the notable things given to each guest was the charity voucher by Bam Nuttall. It was a£2 donation to the charity of your choice. The 3 charities presented were Plan UK, Smart Works and Code your future. Among all the items in the goody bag, this stood out as it was not a nice to have that we would take home and not use but something we all knew would be put to good use in the respective charities.
Being a member of the WYPB, this awards ceremony was more special to the rest as it marked the WISE organisation reaching and exceeding the target of 1 million women in STEM. A target we have been working towards for years.
If you would like to be part of the WISE campaign, check out becoming a member. It is open to both men and women. This is a challenge we can only solve together. The WYPB is also accepting applications for board members. If you feel this is something you would like to get involved in, go to our website and send us your application. We love to hear from you. If you have someone in mind for an award, keep a lookout for the nomination window for next year’s awards. I look forward to seeing you there!