Working with Calderstones School to develop STEM awareness

On Monday, Rachel Brisley, Associate Director, and Jack Dudman, Analyst, visited Calderstones School in Liverpool. They talked to Year 12 geography and physics students about careers in flood and coastal risk management and highlighted the importance of women’s achievements in this area in association with the recent International Women in Engineering Day.

We are supporting the development of the new national flood and coastal risk management strategy and as this is looking at managing long term challenges, we took the opportunity to ask the next generation for their thoughts on priorities for flood and coastal risk interventions, how risk is likely to change in the future and how this could be funded.

What do future engineers think?

Students were clearly up for the challenge and provided a range of views from protecting the most vulnerable to focusing on the economy and infrastructure, as well as more blue sky thinking around living in waterproof domes protected from all sources of flooding. Increasing taxes to pay for flood and coastal schemes were popular suggestions, as was encouraging more contributions from business. Finally, both pupils and teachers alike were fascinated by the JBA Trust’s augmented reality sandbox and were keen to have a go at ‘making it rain’ to see how topography and blockages affect water flow.

Impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and interest in flood and coastal risk management, the event was a great success.

“We are keen to support all students in their transition from school to further education and work and welcome the involvement of local businesses in helping our students to understand potential future career options. With the majority of our students being boys, we are keen to encourage our girls to shine and female role models are an excellent way of showing what they can achieve. Calderstones places a high priority on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects, with initiatives such as the STEM Club, and encourages younger students to consider these subjects in choosing GCSE and A level options” commented Paul Richards, Head of Sixth Form and Head of Careers, Calderstones School.

Listen to our interview with Paul about how the school works to develop girls interest in STEM subjects and how employers can help facilitate this.

International Women in Engineering day

“International Women in Engineering Day provides another opportunity for us at JBA to celebrate the many achievements of our female colleagues. From meeting their milestones in the graduate programme to gaining chartership and presenting project outputs to clients across the globe. As with previous years, we are running events to encourage young women to consider studying STEM subjects and engineering related disciplines at school, college and university” commented Rachel Brisley, Associate Director and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Champion.

As well as attending external events such as the above, internally we are also reflecting on our wider approach to EDI. Over the last year, we have

  • Expanded the number of universities and further education colleges that we target for recruitment processes
  • Undertaken EDI awareness training with the Consulting Board
  • Rolled out EDI awareness through the JBA Welcome course
  • Are about to launch an EDI graduate training module and EDI training for project managers
  • Become committed to better recording data relating to EDI protected characteristics.

We issued our gender pay gap report earlier this year. Whilst the gap of 20% is fairly representative of the industry we work in, we are keen to reduce this and are developing a gender pay gap action plan focused on how we can help career progression of our female staff which will be rolled out from July.

Here Rachel tells us about our EDI work and how we are looking to the future.

Want to know more?

Email Rachel Brisley for more information on our EDI development work. Our interactive guide below highlights more of our work around International Women in Engineering day and STEM development.



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