Why did you enter the Wales STEM Awards?
As CatSci’s Talent & Inclusion Manager, I am dedicated to creating more and better STEM opportunities in Wales, whether that’s graduates looking to begin their careers or more mature employees looking for a new challenge. I am also passionate about promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the sector and making CatSci a diverse and inclusive workplace where all employees can be themselves and thrive.
What did winning mean for you or your business?
Winning the award was a great honour. As STEM Ambassador of the Year, I will continue my mission to promote inclusion and belonging values in the sector and create opportunities for the next generation of scientists. Winning this accolade demonstrates that our innovative approaches to attracting a rich and diverse team of excellent STEM team members are successful, which is something I am incredibly proud of, and is a step in the right direction for a more inclusive and accessible sector for all.
What did you think of the awards ceremony?
Seeing the level of STEM excellence at the awards ceremony was great. It was inspiring to be in a room with all finalists and winners who all share the same passion for promoting the STEM sector in Wales.
What’s been a challenge for you or your business during the last year and how did you overcome it?
A challenge I have faced over the past year was the ambitious scaling up of CatSci. When I was hired, CatSci planned significant growth from less than 50 employees to over 100. I created a strategy that was accessible and outlined a clear understanding of what was needed and what the ideal candidate would be while giving a chance to a variety of individuals to join our organisation. I am proud that by promoting a diverse and inclusive culture, we attract a richer and more diverse range of applicants.
What’s been a highlight for you or your business over the last year and why?
A highlight for me over the last year is when we hired our 100th employee in September. Not only are we hiring at a high volume, but the hires we are making are of an excellent standard in terms of technical skill and personal qualities. It feels incredible to be a part of CatSci.
What are your goals for 2023?
We are carrying on scaling up the workforce to achieve our ambitious expansion plans, and my goals are to continue attracting an influx of high-quality candidates from different backgrounds. I am committed to driving and constantly improving our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion strategy alongside our Talent Acquisition strategy. I also look forward to participating in the 2023 Pride Cymru events to celebrate our LGBTQ+ employees and community.
What, in your opinion, can be done to inspire more young people to pursue careers in STEM?
There has been a gender and ethnic imbalance within STEM. With more representation and visibility on the scope of opportunities available, more people will see that a STEM career is an option for them.
What, or who, is exciting you in the STEM sector in Wales?
I am excited by seeing individuals eager to know more about the STEM sector, especially those thinking about continuing their education or building sustained careers here in Wales.
What do you think could be done to help the STEM sector in Wales?
I think that more can be done to demonstrate the variety of roles and opportunities within the STEM sector and that there is a place for everyone, no matter their background. As a community and the country, we should celebrate our STEM achievements more, as we have a lot to be proud of.