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Promoting STEM careers at Defence Infrastructure Organisation

Category: STEM, Female Initiatives, Staff Networks, Girls In STEM, female, ministry of defence, Military, MOD, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, DIO, staff network group, STEM Careers, female focus, STEM for women, STEM for females, female staff, female colleagues, STEM Talent, STEM Programme

Career and Talent Development

DIO STEM Nertwork Lead Sarah Young

DIO STEM Network Lead Sarah Young

My name is Sarah, and I work for DIO as a Customer Engagement Manager – it doesn’t sound very STEM, in fact, it’s not, but it does allow me the opportunity to network and to meet people who are just as passionate about STEM as I am.  I’ve worked for DIO for nearly 3 and a half years now, starting off as a Data Analyst before moving into the Strategy and Planning department.  Before embarking into the DIO world, I was a Biology teacher, teaching post 16-year olds for their A-Levels and BTEC.  It was tough going especially with the demands placed on teachers, but my passion for Biology was so strong, when I decided to leave teaching, I felt like I was closing a life chapter, and I promised myself that I would continue being involved in Science, in fact, STEM, in whatever capacity that was. 

Within a month of starting DIO as a Data Analyst, I started asking around – what do DIO do in relation to STEM? How can we promote STEM? Let’s get out there and show just exactly how STEM related DIO is!

I was quickly combined with the Gender Forum, and there began my own network – The DIO STEM Network.  It’s very much a work in progress project at the moment.  We have such a wide range of STEM related roles (in fact, I’m did some statistical research on it!) in DIO, however, I was shocked to discover how many of our colleagues didn’t actually realise that they are in STEM roles – I believe it’s something they should shout from the rooftops!  My focus is to highlight those roles to my DIO colleagues and drive forward the change in recruitment by highlighting STEM roles in our adverts.  I also want to visit schools, sharing the expanse of DIO and the roles we have available, such as Ecology, Technicians, Statisticians, Quantity Surveying and Foresters!

I may have needed to press the pause button on my Biology interest when I started at DIO, however, it wasn’t long before they supported me to carry on with my interests.  I started a masters degree in Archaeology and Anthropology which I study part time.  DIO support me by giving me study leave, but I think the most exciting part of this has been the amazing opportunities that open up to you in Ministry of Defence, and with my interests, I was invited to join in on the recovery of military uniforms, dated from World War 2.  An incredible experience I wouldn’t have in my memories if I didn’t work for DIO!

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Defence Infrastructure Organisation

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