Expert Group for Women in STEM

The long-term vision for the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) agenda is:

"An environment in UK science, engineering and technology education, employment, research and policy-making in which women contribute to, participate in and share the benefit equally to their male counterparts. To ensure that the UK knowledge driven economy benefits from the inclusion of the talents of the whole population and that women benefit from the opportunities afforded by it".
(SET Fair, DTI, 2002)

The Group's main objective is to monitor, review, advise and support the progress of the Government's strategy for women in STEM as set out in A Strategy for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, DTI 2003'.

The Group meets three times each year, in London. The Chair and Members are not reimbursed for their time on the Expert Group but reasonable travel costs incurred will be covered by the secretariat.

Current group members

Margaret Adams

Margaret Adams
Margaret has a background in engineering and business and she brings over 18 years of industry experience to the Women in STEM Expert Group.
During her career, she has held leadership positions within construction and the automotive industry. Her previous work within the auto industry spanned two global corporations and manufacturing operations across several countries. She has been instrumental in the development and deployment of strategic actions which consolidated the multi-branded business of a major vehicle manufacturer, into a leaner and more competitive entity.
Margaret chairs the Athena Charter Committee, which pro-actively encourages academic institutions to adopt the Swan Charter, whose core principles revolve around the retention and promotion of women scientists, engineers and technologists to executive ranks within UK universities. She is an SEAS Ambassador and active role model.
Barbara Bagihole

Barbara Bagilhole
Professor of Equal opportunities and Social Policy in the Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University. She has researched and published extensively in the area of equal opportunities and diversity in the fields of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, and intersectionality.
Di Barber

Di Barber
Has 16 years experience in equality and diversity leadership, management and training for the private and public sector, with a particular interest in the SET sectors.
Wendy Bell

Wendy Bell
Has a broad range of relevant experience having worked in both academia and industry in a number of roles. She is currently the business advisor for IBM's Public Sector Business in the UK. She has a particular interest in school and secondary science with the ultimate goals of encouraging pupils into careers in science and engineering and creating a scientifically literate population.
 Hilda Coulsey

Hilda Coulsey
Hilda Coulsey is currently active in strategic business development and innovation initiatives with businesses and academics for the Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward, in Yorkshire and Humberside. Having previously led research and development activities for private companies for most of her career, she has a good understanding of what businesses need from universities, in terms of research support and graduates’ skills and has been heavily involved in the careers and personal development of researchers in a variety of competitive industries. She is keen to improve the interface between public and private cultures to increase the effectiveness of policy, resource deployment and general support for STEM teaching and, particularly, exploitation for women throughout their careers for the benefit of the economy.
Lynne Frostick

Professor Lynne Frostick (chair)
Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Hull, Lynne has particular interests in physical modelling of aquatic environments and waste science.
Erica Halvorsen

Erica Halvorsen
Previously Interim Director of the higher education sector's Equality Challenge Unit. One of her main interests is the progression of women in higher education and the mechanisms that will allow them to maintain their careers after a break.
 Sarah Haslam

Sarah Haslam
Sarah Haslam is an engineering manager with Ford Motor Company working within the Product Development Diesel Engineering team, based at Dagenham Diesel Centre and responsible for ongoing production quality of an Inline Diesel Engine. She is passionate about encouraging female students to consider a career in engineering and through her employer, IMechE and SEAS has been able to participate in many events and initiatives over the last 10 years. As a female chartered engineer in the automotive industry she also recognises and values the importance of diversity in the workplace and the need for structure and effective policies.
Dr Catherine Hobbs

Dr Catherine Hobbs
Dr Catherine Hobbs is Head of Research in the School of Technology, Oxford Brookes University. She is a mathematician by training, with research interests in singularity theory (a branch of geometry) and its applications to the physical sciences. She has a long-term involvement in initiatives to encourage and support women in STEM-related careers.
Averil Macdonald Averil Macdonald
Averil Macdonald is currently Professor of Science Communication at the University of Reading. Her interest in encouraging girls into science began when she was Head of Physics in a secondary school and she now, after a successful career break, takes responsibility for action to support and advance women in science at university level. She is currently a trustee of the National Museums for Science and Industry.
Peter Main

Peter Main
Peter Main was an academic physicist for more than 20 years at the University of Nottingham. His interests in science started by looking at the exotic properties of superfluids only one thousandth of a degree above the absolute zero of temperature. Later, he moved on to work on the quantum electrical properties of materials and, in 2000, he was also briefly famous around the world for levitating a frog. In 2002, he moved to London to work for the Institute of Physics, where he is Director of Education and Science and where he spends his time promoting physics on the broader stage. Included in his portfolio of responsibility is the Institute's activities in diversity, with a strong emphasis on gender. Highlights include the university site visits, Project JUNO, girls in physics projects, university guide to students with disability etc.
RachelMorfill Rachel Morfill
Rachel Morfill is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and has worked for National Grid for over 16 years, holding a number of operational management roles. During her career she has acted as a role model for other female engineers within the business and has actively supported the company’s women’s network.
Ijeoma Uchegbu

Professor Ijeoma F. Uchegbu (academia expert)
Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at the School of Pharmacy, University of London, Ijeoma's research is focused on exploiting nanotechnology for drug delivery and ultimately the improvement of therapeutic outcomes. Ijeoma is also involved in encouraging girls to consider science careers.