Joanne Rogers Nov 24, 2021 9:03:47 AM 12 min read

The importance of female role models in STEM

Last week, our CEO, Alison Ettridge was interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio about Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards and her own career path.

You can listen to the interview here: BBC Three Counties Radio interview 

The interview followed Alison’s visit to High March school where Alison was previously a pupil. She met with students to talk about Stratigens and how it is being used to analyse the flow of female engineers including their journey from education to a professional role.

Alison hopes her innovation will help address the skills gap in the engineering sector which accounts of £1.2 trillion of revenue in the UK, particularly amongst women. You can learn more about our Women in Engineering programme here:

Stratigens and Women in Engineering

Alison offered advice to young people, particularly girls considering their options now for the future. How to be bold and courageous about making their ideas tangible and that you don’t have to be an inventor to be an innovator.

About Women in Innovation

Innovate UK launched Women in Innovation in 2016, after research revealed that just 1 in 7 applications for Innovate UK support came from women. Boosting the number of female entrepreneurs could deliver £180 billion to the economy.


The aim was to get more women with excellent ideas innovating within UK businesses. Women in Innovation is part of Innovate UK’s commitment to promote greater diversity and inclusion in business innovation.


The programme seeks to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others. The awards are for female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year. The programme support includes a £50,000 grant for each individual, as well as a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.


The campaign and awards programme in 2016 and 2018 have had a huge impact so far. The number of women applying to Innovate UK’s funding and support has increased by 70%. The Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21 will build on this success.


For more details see:


About Innovate UK

As the UK’s national innovation agency, Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. They connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn these ideas into commercially successful products and services, and business growth. To date, Innovate UK has supported 14,000 projects at 10,800 organisations, helping innovative businesses create 100,000 new jobs whilst adding £21 billion to the UK economy.