As part of our commitment to increasing diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the Royal Society seeks to identify and address barriers to participation and success in STEM. The Society is working in partnership with the Windsor Fellowship (www.windsor-fellowship.org) to deliver Destination STEMM, a mentoring programme for Year 12 Black students living or studying in Greater London. The programme provides one-to-one mentoring and aims to address the gaps in the progression of Black students along the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) pathway.
The programme targets students who are currently in Year 11 studying GCSEs or equivalent, and applying to study STEMM subjects while considering a career in a STEMM. The programme lasts for 1 year, from the beginning of the students' Year 12. Each mentee is paired with a Royal Society Research Fellow mentor and will receive a minimum of 2 hours of face-to-face mentoring each month. Mentees will also attend 4 workshops over the course of the year to develop their key skills and competencies, and get to become part of the Windsor Fellowship Alumni.
Here are some examples of feedback received from mentors and mentees from our pilot programme.
Quotes from mentors:
‘She is making fantastic process and using this scheme to its full advantage, I have found it enormously satisfying to work with her as the smallest of suggestions and modest aspirational changes that I have suggested are beginning to make a real difference. She is also the most delightful person to mentor and has become a very popular visitor to my lab!’
‘I would be delighted [to sign up for second year] as one of the most satisfying things I have done recently’
‘I would be very happy to participate again…I continue to be in contact with ‘Mentee name’…she has had all her university interviews (and been accepted on all the courses she wanted!).’
‘At the simplest level [I have benefitted from being a mentor] because it takes me out of the "ivory tower" of academia, and for a goal that I consider very important. It provides a whole new set of challenges.’
Quotes from the mentees:
‘I learnt so many things that I have heard about before but have overlooked’
‘I was pushed out of my comfort zone by communicating with others’
‘The seminar has been positive because it boosted my confidence’
‘I have met lots of people interested in a wide range of STEM areas’