As many businesses look toward what they can do for future STEM Scientists breaking into their chosen career or industry of study, we have partnered with the Royal Society of Chemistry to ensure there are equal opportunities across the board.
Partnering with the Royal Society of Chemistry
The Royal Society of Chemistry conducted a survey to provide insight into the racial discrimination that appears prevalent in the chemical industry. Although this prejudice is something that has seen little reporting on, and spans across the entire science sector, in recent years momentum has gathered in the chemical industry.
For example, of all the 575 Chemistry Professors in the United Kingdom, it’s found that just one Professor is black. Which equates to a 0.17% representation of ethnic minorities in the University Professor job role. This is just one shocking statistic at the top of the discriminatory food chain too.
Not only are entry-level career opportunities less common for minority ethnic researchers, but students can face a whole other range of limitations. This includes being less likely to receive grant funding, less likely to receive forms of promotion or pay rises whilst working and having a significantly lower average pay range.
The reality of the future for Chemical Students and Researchers
Throughout their research, which is unsurprisingly limitedly funded too, the Royal Society of Chemistry found that it is becoming increasingly harder to challenge the marginalisation of minorities, and unfortunately, it seems normalised. This is applicable to businesses as well as academics/universities.
With these kinds of barriers unknowingly in place, many ethnic minority students continue to show interest in studying and pursuing careers in Chemistry at university. Although this is a great sign, the Royal Society of Chemistry reported that there is a growing number of students becoming increasingly ‘put off’ by what appears to be an unwelcoming atmosphere of academic research.
It is outlined clearly by the percentages of those who identify as black, becoming lower with each stage of studying and research. A reasonable 4.9% of students studying chemistry-related subjects at the undergraduate level identify as black, compared to 1.4% of postgraduate Chemistry researchers, and 1% of lecturers. Leaving the shocking factor of 0% existing in Professor roles.
Broadening Horizons at AM Technology
Although the problem of racism is not exclusive to the chemical industry, we want to try and make a difference where we can. By joining the Broadening Horizons programme, AM Technology has signed up for a three-year scheme to support chemistry students and graduates from minority backgrounds (with the potential to continue into the future).
As of September 2022, any student participants in the programme will receive support and access to unique opportunities not available to the majority. After attending the initial taster event, our team met with almost 90 students and graduates in Chemistry, to share AM Technology’s journey so far and what role we play in the process market.
It’s proven that flow chemistry and our Coflore product range has captured the interest of students, graduates and researchers across the UK. After attending an exhibition at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, we saw a real interest in our flow chemistry solution with students asking lots of questions about the Coflore ACR we had on display.
It is this interest that we have been keen to grow, whilst simultaneously supporting an extremely important movement toward more equal opportunities. As part of the Broadening Horizons programme, we have offered to take on summer interns and provide open days to give students a chance to visit our headquarters and learn more about the work we do within the chemical industry.
In April 2023, we welcomed the first cohort of students in the Broadening Horizons programme as they look to pursue a career in chemistry. The site visit provided an invaluable sense of what a typical day at AM Technology looks like. Check out what some of the students had to say:
To left, Arjun Vinod, Technological University Dublin in April 2023
To right, Sean Thomson, University of York student who visited AM Technology in April 2023
This initiative is something we’re incredibly proud to be involved in, not only does it work to retain ethnically minor, early-career chemists but it also gives businesses a broader pool of talent to recruit from in the future.
With every step we take to becoming market leaders in the flow chemistry field, we continue to give back where we can, whether it’s with insight and knowledge or in this case, building equal opportunities.
Check out what our Business Development Manager has to say about the scheme: