Highlights from the Virtual STEM Women Scotland Event 2020

Nov 05, 2020 Events 5 minutes read

On Wednesday 4th November, we hosted our penultimate virtual STEM Women event, this time targeted towards female students and recent graduates based in Scotland.

The event attracted a record 454 attendees, all looking to start their careers within a STEM industry. Throughout the day, attendees were invited to virtually network with 17 employers which included EY, Accenture, Baillie Gifford, Morgan Stanley, Baker Hughes, BlackRock, Blomberg, Cirrus Logic, Goldman Sachs, GFT, KPMG, Metaswitch, Newton, Network Rail, PwC, RBS and Velocity.

Employers and attendees had a total of 1,200 conversation and sent 7,289 chat messages throughout the day! There were also a over 53 live job vacancies available on the platform and we recorded a staggering 304 job applications!

At noon, the event began with a welcome talk from STEM Women Events Manager Sophie Chadwick. This was followed by an inspiring coaching masterclass hosted by Executive Leadership Coach, Sarah Perugia. This skills session focused on practical techniques that enable you to interview and present with confidence. She spoke about the importance of body language and warming up before a big meeting or job interview. Sarah also gave attendees some practical tips on presenting themselves confidently in a virtual environment and how to own their space!

At 12.50pm, our speaker sessions began with a presentation from Jennifer Paterson, Glasgow Campus Coordinator and Melanie Lamb, Head of Glasgow Graduate Recruitment at Morgan Stanley. Jennifer and Melanie ran through who Morgan Stanley are, with an overview of their business structure. They then highlighted the opportunities available at their Glasgow sites and went over the application process, offering hints and tips on how to be successful.

Next up, we invited Rachel Graham and Claire Hughes, Student Recruitment Advisors at EY, to present their talk on the student opportunities available at EY and tips on how to apply. They explained how vast EY are as a firm, covering around 700 locations worldwide, and highlighted the core strengths candidates would need to be successful in a role at the company.

At 1.40pm, Katie Rumbles, Campus Recruitment VP at BlackRock took to the virtual stage to present her speaker session on the early career programs at the company. She began her talk by giving an overview of her personal career journey, from studying German at university, to entering an HR role. She then explained that BlackRock are the largest asset management company in the world and went on to clarify what asset management is and how BlackRock has evolved over the years.

Following this, we welcomed Sausan Naqvi, Application Development Associate at Accenture. Sausan gave attendees an in-depth overview of her personal career journey, from studying life sciences at Leeds University, to joining the Software Engineering Graduate Scheme at Accenture. She highlighted that she had no experience and little knowledge of technology and coding when she first joined, but that it wasn’t necessary, and she quickly learnt on the job.

At 2.30pm we then introduced Russell Glencross, IS Talent and Development Lead and Victoria MacGillivray, Early Careers Consultant from Baillie Gifford. Victoria began the presentation with an introduction to Baillie Gifford, what they do and where they are based. Russell then took over and gave attendees a brief summary of his career journey, from working in IT, to moving over to the recruitment and people side of the business. Victoria and Russell also highlighted the amazing culture at Baillie Gifford and the various networks and support groups they have at the company.

Our speaker sessions ended with an insightful talk from Dana Khartabil, Junior Data Engineer and Marina McCulloch, DevOps Engineer from GFT Financial. Dana began the presentation with an outline of her educational background, describing how she studied Computer Engineering at Damascus University BSc, moving on to study a master’s in computer system management and a PhD in Data Visualisation in Scotland. Dana also spoke about her reflections during her job search and gave attendees some great advice.

Marina then explained her journey into a technology career, from starting a degree apprenticeship with a consultancy and studying part time for a degree in software engineering, to starting her role in DevOps.

After a short networking break, attendees were invited to join the audience of our panel session featuring women working in STEM industries. Our panellists included Alex Glover from BlackRock, Kayleigh McNeill from EY, Maria Koleva from Morgan Stanley, Zlatina Lazaroza from GFT, Ellie Henderson from Accenture and Remya Nair from Baillie Gifford. They gave some really inspiring answers to questions on overcoming fears of public speaking, how Covid has impacted their roles and the best ways to stand out in interviews.

We couldn’t be happier with how our Stem Women Scotland event went, we had a record number of attendees and have already received some amazing feedback from both employers and attendees.

Nicola Dochnenko, studying Computing highlighted how she found the event:

“Hearing the experiences of other women in similar situations as me gave me the confidence to apply for jobs that I otherwise might not have applied for.”

Katie from BlackRock added:

“Another fantastic event hosted by STEM Women! It was a pleasure to speak with so many engaged, motivated and talented women – we are looking forward to attending more events in the future.”


We now have just one event left in our autumn season, our Netherlands event which takes place on Thursday 12th November. For more information, visit our events page and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.

There are still spaces left for employers for our upcoming event, If you’re interested in exhibiting, get in touch with laurenj@stemwomen.co.uk.