Supporting women in STEM roles

9th February 2016

Here at Virgin Media we’re committed to nurturing an inclusive culture by building an engaged workforce that represents the diversity of our customers and communities – it’s one of our five sustainability goals that we're working towards all the way through to 2020.

Ensuring that we have a good gender balance is a big part of this goal and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved in this area already - we improved the percentage of women occupying senior roles from 18% in 2013 to 29% in 2014, while growing the female percentage of our workforce to 33% and the percentage of female graduates to 53% of the graduate intake in 2014. Watch this space for new 2015 figures in the next few months.

At Virgin Media we have a large number of roles that require STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills so we’re working hard to make sure that we attract women to these roles, which some assume are best suited to ‘boys brains’.

Research from Accenture (one of our key supplier partners) highlights that although 80% of young women believe that studying STEM subjects leads to good career opportunities, half actually think that STEM careers are more suited to men; with almost 30% believing that they “fit boys’ brains better”. That’s why, last week, we teamed up with STEMettes (a group founded to inspire the next generation of STEM females), Accenture and others to bring special events to cities across the UK.

1,800 school-age women joined the events in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin where they had the opportunity to take part in hackathons, app constructions, coding workshops and virtual exhibitions by companies like Oculus Rift and Women in Gaming.

Presentations were given by women across politics and business, which included Virgin Media’s very own Director of Digital, Rhona Bradshaw; Jo Dutton, our Director of Customer Engineering; our Head of Transformation for Customer, Mel Serventi; and Amelia Mansell, our Head of Performance and Reliability. This short film formed part of their presentation and tackles the opinions that STEM roles are not for women head on.