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Imperial College London

The website serves as an additional resource for a community that can be under-represented in some subjects and helps create a more inclusive feel to our communications.

Background

Women make up just 25% of all people working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations in the UK, despite accounting for nearly half of its total workforce.

The reasons behind this are varied and complex, but one factor is clear: fewer women choose to pursue STEM subjects at a degree level.

This research was originally conducted by YouthSight, now part of Savanta.

The Challenge

As a global top-10 university with a world-class reputation in STEM subjects, Imperial College London is committed to tackling this lack of gender parity head-on, with a focus on increasing recruitment among women.

To do this, Imperial knew that nailing its communications strategy would be key, and were exploring the idea of developing an online platform specifically tailored to the needs of female STEM applicants.

The college knew that for this platform to have a real impact on application and conversion – and deliver on investment – it needed to be built on tangible insights.

Our approach

We harnessed our youth research panel to find female applicants intending to study STEM subjects at university. We painted a clear story of who they were, their attitudes, motivations and feelings towards studying STEM at university – as well as any barriers they may experience.

We also tested the effectiveness of Imperial’s existing communications with respondents and received in-depth feedback about their appetite and vision for a dedicated online platform, including who would use it, what content they would like to see, and what tone would resonate best.

The outcome

Our research gave Imperial the evidence and validation they needed to develop a fully-fledged online platform dedicated to young women interested in STEM, packed with relevant and authentic content.

The findings have also proved essential to the planning of current and future communications strategies, ensuring they are anchored to applicant’s needs and expectations, setting Imperial – and the wider STEM sector – on the path to greater equality.

This research was originally conducted by YouthSight, now part of Savanta.

We structured our new website around the findings of the report and developed specific sections to align with what was unearthed in the research. The website serves as an additional resource for a community that can be under-represented in some subjects and helps create a more inclusive feel to our communications.

Head of Recruitment & Marketing, Imperial College London

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