Celebrating National STEM Day

by Sally Newport - Customer Relationship Manager
| minute read

Today we celebrate National STEM Day, which was established in 2015 with the intention of encouraging and inspiring students to be more involved in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The STEM industries have historically been underrepresented by women and by those from disadvantaged backgrounds, which is something we are passionate about addressing.

At Sopra Steria, we are proud to be a part of the community which is encouraging more people to engage directly with technology and science. Through several social value programmes, we are building relationships with schools, colleges and communities to raise awareness of the opportunities available within the science and technology sectors. We are helping to dissolve the myths around STEM careers being just for those from a privileged background and our aim is to engage, inspire and support people from all walks of life who are interested in pursuing a STEM career. We are also working to make a tangible contribution to the huge digital and technical skills shortage that continues to affect the UK and the world.

Here’s a snapshot of the types of activities we are involved with;

  • Partnering with the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber First programme, supporting schools in the Gloucestershire region to encourage children into STEM subjects and careers. We support Computer Science courses and offer mentoring and advice to children who are interested in these topics.
  • Partnering with CyNam, the Gloucestershire-based cyber security network of companies and educators. Our support helps fund a dedicated growth team and events for the cyber and tech community, including outreach work.
  • Running successful and diverse apprenticeship programmes that have used our local social value connections to recruit young people from different socioeconomic backgrounds into entry-level technical roles.
  • Offering fun and innovative support to local events such as the Cheltenham Science Festival where, in 2022, our eye-catching, 4.5m highUse your marbles” display was a star attraction, engaging over 20,000 school children and other visitors with puzzle-solving challenges. 
  • Running a three day Virtual Work Experience event for under-represented students through the Speakers for Schools initiative, helping children manage a project to improve the hybrid work environment. 

Asked to comment on our activities, Clare Bourne and Elanor Hardman from CyNam said:

We love working with the Sopra team in Gloucestershire. They have been long term supporters of the STEM and community outreach work we do collaboratively and have helped inspire many students and adults. They offer fantastic opportunities for work experience and apprenticeships in our cyber and tech industry. Working with Sopra Steria really demonstrates their passionate commitment to social value in our ecosystem and beyond”. Representatives from the Marine Academy in Clifton, which participated in the Virtual Work Experience event, said “A lot of these students would be the first generation in their families to attend university. I have seen them grow significantly in confidence as a result of working with you. Experiences like this will be the difference in making them feeling like they can aim higher.

The foundation for the work we do and our collaboration across the STEM community, is a reflection of our values of excellence, community, respect and empathy. Recognising that bright young minds are sometimes hidden away from the limelight, understanding that opportunities may not always be accessible for those who live in disadvantaged areas and creating a more inclusive approach to ensure everyone has a chance to fulfil their potential, is part of our mission and purpose. And it’s all driven by our incredible team of people who combine their passion for STEM with an ongoing commitment to shape the world for the better. Happy STEM day!

For more information on any of the initiatives mentioned here, please contact Sally Newport