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How supporting STEM education helps businesses’ ESG strategies – our final business breakfast of 2021 reviewed

Published: Dec 14, 2021 4 min read


Our final Business Breakfast of the year focused on how STEM education can fit within businesses’ Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies. With 60 attendees from different sectors and organisations, the discussion was lively and informative covering climate change, sustainability, impact evaluation and talent acquisition.

The panel included:

  • Ben Dunn, Head of Evaluation at STEM Learning UK
  • Selina McCole, Global Head of ESG for Goldman Sachs’s Operations & Supply Chain
  • Jill Anderson, Education and Employability Specialist for bp

Kicking off our final breakfast of 2021 was Ben Dunn, Head of Evaluation at STEM Learning, who focused on the ‘S’ of ESG - namely the social impact and how it is measured. He discussed our approach to evaluation which is supported by three pillars: quality assurance, continuous improvement, and impact.

He outlined how quality assurance helps to determine a programme’s effectiveness, relevancy and usefulness; how continuous improvement enables us to adapt to the changing environment; and how impact answers the question of ‘are we are achieving aims and meeting long-term outcomes?’

He then covered our CPD offering, and said: “We ask teachers about what they want to achieve before the CPD session, encourage them to create an action plan during the session, and check in on their progress within a few months following the completion of the programme.” This process is designed to encourage teachers’ reflective practice and shows how our programmes benefit both teachers and students long-term.

Selina McCole outlined Goldman Sachs’ aim of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and their goal to build an inclusive and sustainable supply chain.

She explained: “It’s a really exciting time to be considering the future world of work”. You can use STEM to develop more renewable energy solutions which will help not just companies, but the countries they are in and ultimately the wider world achieve the Net Zero carbon target.

She also highlighted how proud they have been to partner with us on the catch-up summer camps. These camps have enabled students from disadvantaged backgrounds to catch up on lost learning in STEM subjects following school closures over the last 18 months. Goldman Sachs are also supporters of a number of ENTHUSE Partnerships which will help teachers and students to improve their understanding of the exciting career opportunities available.

Selina concluded: “The exciting thing for all of us is that there could be a student focused on a STEM subject that is about to discover a solution that may lead to a much brighter, cleaner and more sustainable future.”

bp’s Education and Employability Specialist, Jill Anderson, highlighted how sustainability is a foundation of their strategy, and explained how the company has supported the education sector in the UK for over 50 years.

bp is a long-term STEM Learning partner, and one of the founding members of Project ENTHUSE. She revealed their growing number of STEM Ambassadors was allowing them to connect with talented young people who could become future employees. She emphasised the importance of bridging the gap between employers and educators to benefit young people.

This inspiring session ended with the panellists agreeing that young people are the thinkers and inventors of tomorrow - and now is the time for organisations to start planting the STEM seed through implementation and continued evaluation of their ESG strategies.

Our next business breakfast on Wednesday 19 January will be our 25th event and will be held at Jacob’s Bristol office (restrictions allowing). This will be our first ever blended breakfast offering an opportunity to meet both face-to-face and virtually! 

Register now for this free event – the discussion will focus on ‘Every young person deserves to receive a world class STEM education’

If you were unable to attend today’s session and would like a copy of the recording and materials from it, please contact employers@stem.org.uk clearly stating which business breakfast you are interested in. Or, if you want to speak to us about how you might support us with any of our programmes, please contact Liz Whitworth l.whitworth@stem.org.uk for an initial conversation.

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