Dell Glasgow Inspires with STEMAspire

Wednesday 24th October, marked the launch of our STEMAspire program where we welcomed 53 students from the University of Strathclyde, Caledonian University, City of Glasgow College and the University of West of Scotland to the Glasgow Dell office.

STEM Aspire is a 12-month mentoring program aimed at undergraduate females from the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students are paired with mentors from Dell Glasgow, who provide them with 1-1 support and guidance to help bridge the gap between education and employment.

Skills Development Scotland, The Herald, Netball Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce joined us at the Glasgow office to celebrate the launch of the program. Key speakers MSP Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, and Gail Duff from Scottish Enterprise, expressed their support for the prograe and Dell’s efforts to tackle the gender skills gap.

“Dell’s STEMAspire program is a great example of how industry can help remove barriers to women entering sectors that have been traditionally male-dominated. It presents a fantastic opportunity for participants to gain access to 1-2-1 experienced mentors and develop a network of valuable contacts.” – Gail Duff, Business Enterprise

Facilitators from the University of Strathclyde, took the mentees on a colorful journey using an inspiring method called LEGO Serious Play which fosters creative thinking using LEGO® bricks. One of the students described the day as being a “wonderful way to meet new people who share similar experiences”.

Each of the students expressed who they were as individuals through their LEGO duck, by explaining how each component relates to their personal attributes. The students were then asked to build a model, which represents their aspirations and what STEMAspire means to them.

The facilitators also gifted the girls with a LEGO® STEMAspire mascot Rosemary.

Mentees from the previous year underwent a graduation ceremony, where they received a trophy and a certificate for completing the STEMAspire program.

Their Mentors shared feedback with their mentees during the graduation, reflecting on their shared STEMAspire journey:

“Congratulations to Madihah on not only completing year one of the STEM Aspire program but also in securing a role in Client Tech Support. Madihah embraced the opportunities presented to her, utilizing new skills and shared experience to pursue a career in Dell. It was a delight to mentor Madihah and I wish her every success the future” – Ambreen Campbell

“It was a pleasure to have worked with Anna and watch her confidence grow through the year and I am delighted she realized her aspiration to study at Glasgow University, after having worked so hard to meet the grade requirements and putting it top of the list on that UCAS form.”  – Mark White.

Yasmeen Hussain, Education Enhancement Team, School of Engineering and Computing lead at University West of Scotland, commented on the program stating that it had been of benefit to her students

“UWS students studying Creative Computing, Applied Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences subjects have benefited greatly from DELL’s STEM Aspire Mentoring Program. Mentees consider the program a wonderful opportunity for personal and professional development.

The program introduces UWS students to a professional work environment. Activities featured in the program and the encouragement and guidance provided by DELL colleagues encourages UWS students to recognize their skills and abilities and understand the importance of their personal brand and networking. As a result, the confidence of UWS students participating in the program has increased, helping to shape and influence their careers.”

Many thanks to our key stakeholders and partners for their continuous support.

About the Author: Laura Mcewen

I am an active member of Scotland’s STEMAspire core team and I am primarily responsible for communicating our activities internally and externally. This includes posting blogs on Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, co-ordinating our editorial partnership with The Herald, the longest running national newspaper in the world and amplifying our message across various social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to encourage other businesses to follow suit. I am incredibly passionate about encouraging female students to graduate or pursue further education in a STEM subject, which is why I am delighted to be part of such a powerful movement.