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Business Event

27th June 2023

REflect 2023 - Business event

People from global ethnic majorities (GEM) are under-represented in STEM fields. With technology increasingly touching most aspects of our lives, it’s of the utmost importance that there’s diversity in engineering to ensure that it serves everyone in our society. This event enables companies to explore ways to be truly inclusive of their ethnically diverse colleagues.

On the day:

Know you need to improve diversity and inclusion in your organisation, but not sure where to begin?
If you’re a business that is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, this event is for you!
Join us for this live talk, exploring why improving equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in STEM workplaces is important, and how to actually make it happen.
Over this insightful 90 minute session, we’ll hear from a diverse and inspirational group of panellists, and showcase videos from organisations who are already reaping the benefits of greater EDI. By the end, you’ll be more confident in the value of improving EDI in your business, and aware of the tools and resources available to support you on your journey.
Tuesday, 27 June 2023
14.00 – 15.30 (BST)

Why do we need this?

Businesses have a responsibility to ensure they’re recruiting diverse talent, so we can create products and technologies that serve all communities.
Hear from our range of experts and learn more about:
  • The experiences of ethnically diverse people
  • Why creating ethnically diverse organisations is important – for culture and innovation
  • Practical tips and ways to help you create a more inclusive business – including how to ensure your talent pipeline is ethnically diverse
  • How to support and steer negative views and conflict
  • Ways your business can better support ethnically diverse communities
  • Ready to take the next step?

    Tune in live:
    Join our live broadcast from 14.00 – 15.30 (BST) on Tuesday, 27 June 2023. Don’t forget to add it to your calendar by clicking the button above.

    Explore more tips:
    Check out other tips on how to be more inclusive – and share your own – via the IET’s Inclusion Hub, and help them #PassItOn via your social channels.

    Take part in our national day:
    Every year on 1 August 2023, we come together to celebrate ethnically diverse talent – and put on an inspirational event in London to help young people aged 16-25, especially from low socio-economic backgrounds, to see that careers in STEM are as much for them as anybody else.

    You can expect:
    Role models in STEM speaking on the main stage | Q&A sessions | Tech exhibits | Career stands | Interactive activities | Practical resources to take your first steps into a career in STEM | Networking and more!
    Check out our Youth event page for more information.

    Business Session

    The Speakers

    Dr Nike Folayan MBE

    Electronics Engineer

    Dr Nike Folayan MBE is a Chartered Electronics Engineer with a doctorate in Electronics engineering. A Technical Director and Technical Discipline Leader for Communications and Control within WSP, an engineering consultancy, Nike leads a team of telecommunications engineers on a variety of projects within the transport industry including railways and the highways projects in the UK, Australia, Middle East and Africa.
    Nike chairs AFBE-UK, a not for profit organisation which promotes higher achievement in Engineering and Education amongst people of Black and Ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK. She is a Trustee at the EngineeringUK and StemetteFutures. Previous appointments include a Trustee at Engineering Development Trust (EDT), on the diversity panels of the Science Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Transport for London Diversity Steering group, Strategic Planning Committee of University of the West of England. She is currently also on the engineering industrial panel at the University of Kent and a member of the Mayors Infrastructure advisory Panel . Nike has been awarded two honorary doctorates in Science and Technology from University of Kent and UWE Bristol. She is a Fellow at the Institution of Engineering and Technology and an Honorary Fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering. She was also board member for the Hamilton commission Board.

    Simon Timmis

    Head of Corporate Communications, Brand and Digital at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

    With a background in marketing and communications within the healthcare and engineering sectors, Simon has worked for the past decade in the STEM space to challenge the perception of engineering and bring the industry to new audiences. Simon is an experienced marketeer with a focus across brand and digital and specialises in developing integrated campaigns which challenge perceptions – be it a brand, a stereotype or an industry. Simon is passionate about giving young people opportunities through STEM and has led on several initiatives to bring engineering and technology to new audiences through his campaigns. Developing the brand and culture of the IET is a key focus; as is finding new ways for the both IET and the wider community to be open, relevant and inclusive to all.

    Isabella Mascarenhas

    RS Group

    Isabella has forged a successful career in developing young people from diverse backgrounds to realise their full potential and achieve their ambitions. She currently works for RS Group Plc as their Vice President of Grass Roots Education & Social Impact where her teamwork with young engineers and technologists all over the world to develop community opportunities, competitions, events and initiatives to enhance their technical skills, employability skills and career prospects. In June 2020, Isabella started the EmbRace Network with a small group of passionate, like-minded colleagues. Together they have created a movement to forward the race inclusion agenda through the implementation of targeted initiatives to attract, retain, support and develop global majority talent and to give back to ethnically diverse communities.

    Hilary Leevers

    Chief Executive, EngineeringUK

    Hilary joined EngineeringUK as Chief Executive in January 2019 and leads the organisation in its mission to enable more young people from all backgrounds to be informed, inspired and progress into engineering and technology. EngineeringUK leads collaborative work across hundreds of organisations to improve the impact of engineering and tech engagement for young people, building an evidence base to support these efforts and advocating for accompanying policy improvements in STEM education. EngineeringUK also directly reaches young people through in person and digital activities, including the Big Bang programme and Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. Prior to joining EngineeringUK, Hilary was Head of Education and Learning at Wellcome, building up a team to improve science education across the UK through research, advocacy, funding and direct interventions. Hilary also spent four years as Assistant/Acting Director at Campaign for Science & Engineering working on a breadth of policy issues including: education and skills; government support for public and private research; and its use of scientific evidence. She has a research background early cognitive and language development and developmental disabilities. Hilary has been a governor of a 5-16 comprehensive school for many years.

    Christine Bejerasco

    Chief Information Security Officer at WithSecure™

    Christine is Chief Information Security Officer at WithSecure™, previously holding the title of CTO, where she looked at the intersection of threats, technologies and user behaviour to build future-proof cyber security solutions. Having spent two decades in the cyber security industry, Christine is highly respected and speaks regularly at peer-to-peer and business events. With the last couple of years being unprecedented for security breaches, Christine has been sharing her in-depth knowledge with audiences on various areas that highlight some of the threats encountered in cyber-attacks during this period, especially those affecting mobile devices, software, supply chains and data hacks. With our world transforming digitally and becoming even more reliant on virtual environments, that are increasingly powered by AI and ML models, it is key to stay informed and protected. Throughout her career Christine has held roles that have researched and analysed the evolution of the threat landscape across key industry sectors, built and delivered threat protection capabilities, and welcomed positive changes in regulations and user behaviour. .

    Andy Parker BSc MIET CEng

    Andy Parker is rapidly becoming force within engineering & technology by using his personal and career experiences to help engineers and leading organisations champion the traits of the neurodivergent community to accelerate innovation. Being diagnosed as autistic at 32, he remembers the experiences without knowledge or support through to now and what the right environment can do to allow individuals to flourish and succeed. While his focus is on organisational and working environment change, he also talks at schools and to adults with families who are dealing with experiencing living with a neurodivergent relative for the first time. Andy received his education at Loughborough University with a degree in Industrial Design & Technology. With experience across Design, Manufacturing, Purchasing, HR and Artificial Intelligence Andy is a go-to problem solver in high-pressure situations, something he says is a direct benefit from his neurodiverse condition. Andy currently works at Rolls-Royce plc in the UK .

    Ama Frimpong

    Head of Product Development

    Ama is Head of Product Development at 52 North Health Ltd, where she leads the company’s engineering teams developing NeutroCheck, a low-cost, portable device that helps identify cancer patients at risk of a life-threatening medical emergency. She is a multi-award-winning engineer including being named the 2022 Young Woman Engineer of the Year by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Top 50 Women in Engineering (Inventors and Innovators) by the Women’s Engineering Society. Ama has spent her career at the forefront of healthcare innovations and has made significant contributions to the technical development of a wide range of products and processes. She is also passionate about advancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in young people with a particular focus on girls and those from Global Ethnic Majority. She holds a PhD in Medical and Biological Engineering from the University of Leeds.

    Your Host

    Yewande Akinola

    Engineering Designer & Innovator

    Yewande is a chartered engineer, innovator and speaker. Her engineering experience includes the design and construction, innovation and manufacture of buildings and systems in the built environment. She has worked on projects in the UK, Africa, the Middle East and East Asia and has been named the UK Young Woman Engineer of the Year by the Institution of Engineering & Technology. She has also been awarded the Exceptional Achiever Award from the Association for BAME Engineers and the Association of Consultancy and Engineering, U.K. (ACE). She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster. She is passionate about STEM communication and has presented Engineering programmes for Television. In the 2020 New Year Honours list, Yewande was awarded an MBE for services to engineering innovation and diversity in STEM.
    She has served as the UK's Innovation Agency (Innovate UK) Ambassador for Clean Growth and Infrastructure and has recently been appointed the Vice president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, UK.