1st August 2022
People from Global Ethnic Majorities (GEM) are under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). With technology increasingly touching most aspects of our lives, it’s of the utmost importance that there is diversity in engineering to ensure that it serves everyone in our society.
RS Grass Roots is the dedicated Education brand of RS Components. Our annual flagship event, REflect, founded in 2019, is back this year in collaboration with the Association for Black & Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE) and The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET).
In 2022 we had two sides to our event, one dedicated to the youth - those aged 16-25 with an interest in engineering and technology - and one dedicated to the businesses that are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.Thanks to those who joined us for REFLECT 2022! Reflect was an uplifting celebration of exceptionally talented people! People from the Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) are underrepresented in STEM and we need positive action to address this fact. Thank you to our eloquent host, George The Poet, and our wonderful speakers, who showed up with humility and authenticity to share their stories. Hannah Awonuga, Mark Martin, Jack Parsons, Dr Nike Folayan MBE, Yeshua Carter and Shereen Daniels gave powerful insights into how businesses can attract, develop and progress global ethnic majority talent and positively impact our communities. All our delegates received a copy of Shereen’s book: The Anti-racist Organization Over 100 young people engaged in tech and Super Skills workshops delivered by Louis Howell, PDC Racing, Wayne Hutt and Mark Martin before hearing from ‘real models’ Dr Kayisha Payne, Joseph Bentley, Dilani Selvanathan, George Imafidon, Navjot Sawhney and Zainab Adigun who are all smashing it in their respective STEM careers Thank you so much to all the vibrant, untapped young talent who showed up and to the incredible people who are part of our growing community celebrating role models and nurturing the next generations of #GEMinSTEM
Global Head of Colleague Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays
Hannah Awonuga is the Founder of Rarity London career development services; Rarity was founded in 2017 to actively support professional women excel in their careers, Hannah uses her voice as a thought leader to speak on panels, events and workshop around Diversity & Inclusion topics. Over the past two years, Hannah has facilitated engaging and impactful Diversity and inclusion workshops centred around intersectionality, equity and inclusion.
Mark Martin MBE
Mark Martin MBE aka @Urban_Teacher is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Education Practice. Mark is a thought leader in #EdTech and a hugely popular speaker, sharing his expertise and insights to educators around the world. He is a teacher/advisor for the major global tech brands and continues to advocate for home-grown talent, digital skills and education equity. In May 2022, Mark was recognised as one of the top 50 most influential people in UK IT by computer weekly. In 2019, he was awarded an MBE for services to education, technology, and diversity in UK technology.
CEO Youth Group
Jack Parsons is an award-winning young entrepreneur, public speaker and subject expert on youth, and is known as the UK’s Chief Youth Officer. Jack is currently the CEO of The Youth Group which is building the world’s largest most connected marketplace and community for young people with one aim: to help improve the odds for young people across the world to achieve their full potential in work. On top of running The Youth Group Jack advises a number of organisations and figure heads.
Dr Nike Folayan
Co-Founder + Chairperson AFBE-UK
Dr Nike Folayan is Chartered Electronics Engineer with a doctorate in Electronics engineering. Nike is currently a Technical Director and the Technical Discipline Leader for Communications and Control within WSP, an engineering consultancy where she leads a team of telecommunications engineers in the UK and India working on a variety of projects within the transport industry including railways and the highways projects in the UK, Australia, South America, Middle East and Africa. She is also a Technical Blogger on SMART technology systems. Nike is chair and Co-founder of AFBE-UK a not for profit organisation AFBE-UK promotes higher achievements in education and engineering particularly among people from black and minority ethnicity (BME) backgrounds. Formed in 2007 AFBE-UK has over 20000 beneficiaries and with a UK wide membership of over 2500 members. She is also a Trustee at the Engineering UK and StemetteFutures, and on the engineering industrial panel at the University of Kent. She is a fellow of the IET and was a judge on the IET Young Woman of the Year 2019 Award. Nike was featured in the One to Watch list in Britain’s 100 most influential people of African and Caribbean heritage 2012 Powerlist and named as Top 100 most influential women in Engineering by Financial Times in 2020. Nike was listed in the Cranfield University Female FTSE Board report as one of 100 Women to Watch. In 2020, Nike was awarded an MBE for her contribution to Diversity in Engineering in the Queens New Year's honours list. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science (DSc) by University of Kent Canterbury in March 2022. Nike’s vision is to continue to empower people all around the world to use Engineering as a platform to change the world.
EY Consultant in Government and Infrastructure & Creator/Co-founder of EY Outreach
Since joining EY as an Apprentice in 2019, Yeshua Carter has become a powerful force in bringing about positive change among young people – especially those limited by the inequalities of living in marginalised communities.
Founder + MD of HR Rewired
Advocate for anti-racism in business. Vice Chair of the Black Business Association, with London Chamber of Commerce and Industry When it comes to addressing systemic racism in the workplace globally, accomplished HR strategist Shereen Daniels pulls no punches. Her direct, yet compassionate and uncompromising approach to anti-racism, has seen accomplish and presented with several accolades. She has been featured in Forbes Magazine, and in 2019 she embarked on a MP leadership scheme with The House Of Commons for ‘Operation Black Vote’, a former vice-chair to the Black Business Association for the Chamber of Commerce & Industries, she has been recognized as a LinkedIn Top Voice in 2020 and 2022, and winner of HR Magazine's Most Influential Thinker 2021, she recently became an inductee in the HR Hall Of Fame 2022, along with being Engati 50 Unstoppable Women Leaders of Today & Tomorrow, and is a best-selling author of the No.1 selling book – “Dismantling Systematic Racism In The Workplace” and she’s only just getting started.
Founder of BBSTEM (Black British Professionals in STEM)
Kayisha Payne began her Higher Education journey at Aston University where she read Chemical Engineering. She continued her education at Imperial College London, where she received a Masters’ in Advanced Chemical Engineering. During Kayisha’s time in industry, she has amassed experience in the Cosmetic Industry (COTY) as a Process Engineer, playing a key lead in bringing a very popular product to market. She was most recently a Biopharmaceutical Process Development Scientist at AstraZeneca and is currently a Healthcare & Life Sciences Consultant. She is also the founder of a non-profit organisation named BBSTEM who’s mission is to encourage and support Black individuals in pursuing a successful career in STEM. Through this work she has been recognised by the Financial Times as one of The Top 100 Most Influential BAME leaders in Diversity and Tech (2018), a STEM Rising Star at The Black British Business Awards (2019), Top 50 Women in Engineering by the WES (2021) and others.
CEO of ACT Medical
Joseph Bentley is an internationally awarded Designer and Inventor. He was the first recipient of the Medical James Dyson award in 2021, and is now the founder and CEO of ACT Medical. ACT is looking to revolutionise the treatment of bleeding from penetrating wounds, with a particular focus on knife crime.
"I am deeply honoured to be a part of Reflect 2022! I can’t wait to meet and share my story with the next generation of changemakers."
R&D Engineer, HEROTECH8
I am an adventurous workaholic who loves learning and experiencing new things. I am currently working as a Research and Development Engineer at Herotech8, a robotics start-up. I work on a mixture of electronics, mechanical, software and hardware projects to develop prototypes for automated drone technology.
George is a 25-year-old humanitarian engineer and social impact leader from Peckham, South East London. He is CEO of Motivez, a Performance Engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton's racing team, X44, and a Board Member at The Co-op Foundation and The Hamilton Commission improving diversity in STEM and motorsport. As a First Class engineering graduate from University College London (UCL), George is passionate about building products and programmes that improve lives and communities. Over the past eight years, he has worked in engineering, technology, consulting, and finance with firms such as Google, William Blair, McKinsey & Company and Rolls-Royce where he saved them £50 million through a novel component. In 2015, George co-founded the award-winning venture, Motivez, which was highly commended by Her Majesty the Queen after supporting over 8,000 young people in the UK aged 14 - 25 to access entry-level jobs in STEM. The Motivez team is composed of an experienced team of young professionals who work closely with corporates, funders and local government to deliver programmes and products that empower young people from underrepresented backgrounds to solve the world’s biggest challenges (I.e. Climate Change) through STEM, progress into employment and become changemakers.
Founder of The Washing Machine Project
Navjot studied an Aerospace Engineering MEng degree. After failing the first year, he went on to graduate as one of the top of his class. Following this, he joined Dyson’s graduate programme where he worked for three years. Then, after taking a sabbatical, he volunteered for one year in South India with Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB-UK) and Prakti Cookstoves to make clean and efficient cookstoves. It was whilst volunteering in India that he was inspired to start The Washing Machine Project (TWMP). A volunteer-led organisation, TWMP seeks to help the women and girls who handwash the clothes of 70% of the global population.
Senior Structural Engineer and AFBE-UK School Team Leader
Zainab Adigun studied BEng in Civil Engineering at Brunel University then a MSc Structural Engineering on a Women in Engineering full scholarship. Zainab designs new buildings and small refurbishments projects across all sectors. As social value champion and EDI team member for her organisation, she helps to define strategy and deliver on social value commitments. Zainab volunteers as a board member for the Association for Black and Ethnic Minority Engineers (AFBE) where she is the team leader for the Making Engineering Hot which works with young people from black and other ethnic minority groups to expose them to careers in engineering. Recently, Zainab was listed as one of 100 Finalists for the Top Women in Engineering 2022 Awards as recognition of her contribution in encouraging females to consider a career in engineering. She has also been shortlisted for the CN & NCE Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering awards
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