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    Diverse 3M teams smash stereotypes

    March 12, 2021
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    Diverse 3M teams smash stereotypes

    As a Major Partner of British Science Week, 5-14 March, 3M has once again joined forces with the British Science Association to take the Smashing Stereotypes campaign to the next level.

    Diverse 3M teams smash stereotypes

    As a Major Partner of British Science Week, 5-14 March, 3M has once again joined forces with the British Science Association to take the Smashing Stereotypes campaign to the next level.

    Diverse 3M teams smash stereotypes

    As a Major Partner of British Science Week, 5-14 March, 3M has once again joined forces with the British Science Association to take the Smashing Stereotypes campaign to the next level.

    • The campaign was launched by the BSA and 3M in 2020 to encourage scientists and researchers to share their stories about what they do in their day-to-day work to highlight the diversity of the STEM workforce and the broad range of jobs and careers available.

      For 2021, diverse teams are in the spotlight to inspire the next generation of creative minds from all walks of life to help science and engineering companies like 3M innovate for the future to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

      Four diverse teams from 3M are featured in the campaign, showing how they have collaborated to solve challenges such as using science to detect fake respirators, engineering the cars of the future and scaling up the production of respirators to protect front-line health care workers.

      The 2021 Smashing Stereotypes campaign challenges the concept of the 'lone scientist', highlighting that teams of diverse people with different experiences, skills, ethnicities, genders, personalities and cultures can challenge the status quo and offer fresh perspectives that enable creativity and innovative thinking to thrive.

      This is especially fitting as the theme of this year’s British Science Week is ‘Innovating for the Future’.

      Katherine Mathieson, chief executive of the BSA, said: “Last British Science Week, we ran Smashing Stereotypes for the first time to actively counteract the stereotypical images of scientists, predominant in society, popular culture and the media.

      “We were hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm expressed by those working in STEM to share their stories, and by the eagerness shown by schools, community groups and organisations across the country getting involved.

      “This year, we’re continuing to showcase the diversity of the people who work in science, in both industry and academia, and the diverse range of roles within – and paths into – the STEM sector. In particular, we’re putting a focus on diverse teams and the importance of teamwork as a critical driver for innovation.

      “Traditionally, the public and society celebrate individual scientists and their ‘lightbulb’ moments. While individual recognition is important, teams and collaborations are integral to innovating for the future.”

      Chris Howitt, Ph.D, Vice-President, Corporate Research & Development Operations, EMEA, 3M Company, said: "At 3M we are passionate about encouraging diversity in the workplace. We need diversity of thought to come up with creative new ideas and we need to nurture those who think in a different way.

      “Diverse teams are more successful as they tackle problems from different perspectives and are able to bounce ideas off each other to drive the innovations of the future.”

      Although diversity is crucial, this isn’t currently reflected in the STEM workforce. STEM careers are experiencing some of the highest levels of growth, yet they still don’t represent wider society.

      Women make up less than a quarter of the UK STEM workforce. Minority ethnic men are 28 per cent less likely to work in STEM than white men. Almost 30 per cent of LGBTQ+ people would not consider a career in STEM due to fear of being discriminated against and people with disabilities only represent five per cent of the engineering workforce.

      Said 3M Communications and Visual Identity manager for the North Europe Region, Julie Owen: “We still have work to do encouraging more people from a diverse range of backgrounds to consider a career in STEM. We are delighted to once again be working with the BSA to help remove the barriers that exist by highlighting the achievements of some of our diverse 3M teams who are working together to solve real-world problems.”

      FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN