Introducing industry representatives to the class of 2022
Speaking at a launch event for the programme, Royal Society Chief Executive Helen Pain welcomed almost 90 students and graduates to two days of careers workshops, facilitated and open networking, presentations from industry partners and Q&A sessions. Dr Pain said: “We work to enable the chemical sciences community to achieve its full potential to improve the lives of people around the world. But we will only be able to realise that potential if we attract people from a wide range of different backgrounds to work in the chemical sciences and to thrive in our profession.
“We are excited to be able to provide an opportunity that, by working together, will enact the change that is needed so that we can retain the talent of Black and minority ethnic people in the chemical sciences.”
Unilever’s Head of R&D Skin Care & Prestige, Jason Harcup was one of the company representatives joining participants at the launch event, saying: “Unilever believes that our workforce should fundamentally represent the demographic of the communities we operate in, all over the world. This is why we’re proud to be a founding partner of the Broadening Horizons programme, as we believe it will accelerate talent from Black, Asian and underrepresented ethnic communities into leadership positions, in a sector as important to the economy as chemical science.”
Taking action after Missing Elements research
Data from the Missing Elements report showed that 0% of chemistry professors in the UK are Black – though as far as we are aware Professor Robert Mokaya is the single one, a fact that makes no impact on the percentages. Speaking at the Broadening Horizons launch event, Professor Mokaya said: “Each of you has already demonstrated the qualities you need to succeed – the dedication, the passion and the talent for chemistry.
“Our aim is to support you to identify and pursue your own path into the right chemical sciences career for you. Today is the first step along that path.
"I want you to remember that you're the best of your generation, and don't let anybody ever tell you you're anything other than that."