In recognition of the department’s equity, diversity and inclusion, Engineering, Design and Mathematics (EDM) was recently re-awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award. Graduate tutor and member of EDM’s Athena Swan committee, Maryam Lamere explains how the department supports diversity and caters for families.
In her own words, as a black, Muslim, woman, Maryam is “a minority, within the minorities”. However, she doesn’t view the multi-faceted aspects of her identity as a barrier in EDM.
“I don’t allow my identity to become a barrier to reaching my goals. EDM’s friendly and supportive environment makes me feel confident to fully own my identity. Here, my differences are my strength.
EDM celebrates diversity and believes that engineering as a profession benefits when people bring in various perspectives and are able to tackle problems from different angles. Gender, cultural and neuro-diversity can all be useful in the workplace.”Maryam Lamere
Maryam teaches undergraduate students, while also working to transfer UWE technology (pee powered electronics) to communities in Africa for her PhD. Since starting the role, Maryam’s family has grown, and she was able to fluctuate her hours to balance childcare needs.
“EDM is really good at making things manageable for people who have families. I have a young family, with three little boys now aged three, five and seven, and if this role hadn’t have been so flexible it would have been pretty challenging to pull it all together.”Maryam Lamere
Changing the image of engineering
There’s no denying that engineering needs a change of image to encourage young people to fill the engineering skills and diversity shortfall in the UK. In a bid to overturn the narrow stereotype of engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering launched their image library in November 2019, to demonstrate the diversity of the profession – see if you can spot Maryam and other engineers in the department!
UWE has also signed the pledge below, promising to make representative images of engineers and engineering more visible to the public.