Final call for women entrepreneurs in STEM to apply for grant
Female-led businesses in engineering are being given the opportunity to accelerate the design and development of their ideas with the help of a 5K grant from London-based manufacturing specialist Get It Made.
The initiative, launched last month, aims to support the potential of women in innovation and to boost the growth of female employment within UK industry, with applications open until midnight on 31 Monday July.
The grant is tailored exclusively to female-led, engineering, design, tech, and manufacturing enterprises with fewer than 10 employees, including startups, with the grant recipient set to receive £5,000. In addition to financial support, Get It Made will also be offering its expertise to help guide young female-led businesses through the challenges facing any young company in a challenging economic environment.
The deadline is looming, but there is still time left to enter through the website.
First introduced last year, the initiative attracted hundreds of applicants from all over the UK and will once again champion female entrepreneurship in traditionally male-dominated sectors.
Whilst more women are taking on roles in STEM, the catalyst for a major cultural shift to close the gender gap will only happen at a grass roots level, argues manufacturing expert Director of Get It Made, Luke Smoothy. “Change won’t happen overnight, it’s a continuous uphill battle, one which we need to keep consistently, actively chipping away at. A critical part of that is to go back to basics to effectively tackle what is a systematic problem which has created an unconscious bias, and it emanates from a really young age. We need to nip stereotypical and sexist perceptions in the bud through elementary learning, not just in school but also in everyday life.”
He continued: “For instance, toys for girls are still based more around domestic chores and raising children etc., whereas mechanical type toys are still in the main marketed towards boys. We need to see more inclusivity and diversity right from a very young age. This I think is the only effective way of changing these stereotypical beliefs which have been prevalent for too long, to establish and nurture fundamental skills and confidence in children.
“To be repeating the same narrative in 2023 that we have been saying for many years, that women are still underrepresented, underpaid, and often discriminated against in many industries is simply not good enough. There is a compelling business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), as backed by a 2020 McKinsey report which revealed that diverse teams perform better, hire better talent, have more engaged members, and retain workers better than those that do not focus on diversity and inclusion.”
Smoothy also stressed that more initiatives rolled out by the government and businesses aimed at supporting women in sectors such as engineering and manufacturing will be one of the key drivers for real progress.
“There is so much opportunity for companies to become involved right now to influence that change – for starters, through offering more grants and scholarships for women in STEM.”