Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is the backbone of our mission:
To make STEM less intimidating, more diverse and inclusive, empowering young people to make informed choices about their future.
We believe everything we do should benefit young people who are less able to access and experience the transformative power of STEM.
In our experience, STEM enrichment activities are often self-selective, serving those who are promised a positive STEM pathway. These activities often unintentionally exclude young people who could benefit from them most.
In our sector, we know too well that empowering underserved young people to progress in STEM broadens their skills, boosts attainment, improves their career prospects and strengthens the economy, however there is still a gap in our efforts. Barriers such as cost, access, confidence and representation, are common reasons why these young people remain underserved in STEM. We want to challenge this.
We have heavily invested in delivering a provision with huge potential for impact and it’s paramount that we can confidently target and develop our provision for the young people we seek to serve. Great design works for everyone and if we want to solve the world’s future challenges, we need to make sure every young person is equipped to build a better future.
We are committing to working smarter, not harder, in how we proactively reach and empower young people, starting with this EDI pledge. This work is critical driving force to focus our mission and 3 year strategy. We know there are no quick fixes or hacks and are committed to evolve how we address EDI long-term with these guiding principles:
We’re not here to address a single aspect of this challenge. We recognise the intersectionality of underserved young people is nuanced, complex and requires a variety of approaches.
Creating homogenous groups of young people to achieve diversity quotas is counterintuitive. We acknowledge that diversity is strongest within communities, not people. Therefore, will not positively discriminate against young people in pursuit of diversity goals.
We understand that knowledge is best shared and will learn from those who understand their demographic and the challenges they face so we are addressing real issues.
We will embed ourselves within our community, empowering all voices to be heard. We will remain honest and open so everyone can challenge and support us along the way.
Our EDI pledge is only as strong as the community that backs it. This takes a whole community effort.
Our future EDI framework will set out key expectations for our community to uphold. In the meantime:
“These students come from areas where there are not a lot of opportunities, but this challenge gives them life experience. They get to do here things they’d only do at university and this experience they are having is also inspiring many of them to pursue further studies at a university.”
– Karl Mahon, Teacher, Chiswick School