How to Recruit and Retain Early Career Women

On 7th September 2023, STEM Women hosted a webinar on the vital topic of “Recruiting and Retaining Early Career Women.”

Our guest speaker was Tanya Meessmann, confidence coach and communication expert, founder and CEO of two gender equality organisations (Girl Shaped Flames and UNIQ You) and co-founder of Trellis Collective. Tanya possesses a wealth of knowledge in creating inclusive workplaces and unlocking the full potential of early career women.

The webinar began with an introduction from STEM Women host, Sophie Chadwick, who gave the audience an overview of STEM Women’s events as well as our crucial research into the Gender Imbalance in STEM, our skills-development workshops for students and graduates, and our dedicated STEM job board.


The importance of role models

Sophie also highlighted the importance of role models in STEM, and covered some of the key statistics gathered in our research – the representation of women in STEM has changed very little in recent years and is only 19% in tech and 12% in engineering – clearly there is still a lot of work to do!


Biases in early careers

Having shared some effective recruitment strategies, Sophie handed over to Tanya to deliver some invaluable insights and help the audience understand the challenges faced by early career women in STEM fields.

Tanya spoke about the biases that affect early careers – for example being seen as young and inexperienced – and how this can create a ‘leaky pipeline’ of talent. She then explained exactly why gender further amplifies uncertainty in early careers.

Tanya also spoke about the impact of the post-covid landscape on Gen Z employees and how this is affecting their ability to learn key skills ‘by proxy’ in the workplace.



Providing clarity and reasurrance

Tanya explained how to provide clarity and reassurance for early career women in STEM, by regularly finding out exactly what they need in terms of their roles and responsibilities. Next, she spoke about the critical importance of connection, both in-person and virtually, and the role than men can play in influencing their visibility. Lastly, Tanya shared some guidance around helping early career women to understand their trajectory and progression – something which can often be overlooked.



Feedback from the attendees

We received some fantastic feedback following the webinar:

Your presentation really resonated with me as an early careers woman in tech, thank you for validating the experiences I had entering the tech industry as a woman.” (Penny, Software Engineer)

You can view the full webinar recording here.