A brand new regional group has been launched aimed at improving gender balance and promoting diversity in science and engineering in the North East.

The WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) campaign’s new North East Hub held its first meeting at Northumbrian Water’s Boldon House, in Pity Me, Durham.

People from across the North East’s science and engineering sector, as well as others responsible for promoting diversity within businesses in the industry, attended the event. Speakers included Northumbrian Water’s Chief Executive, Heidi Mottram OBE, as well as Suzy Firkin, Membership Director of the national WISE campaign.

Heidi said: “As a company, we recognise the value and importance of diversity and inclusion in our workforce and are actively working to improve. It’s great that Northumbrian Water is helping to take this new group forward, as we look to promote the work and messages of WISE in the North East.

“The creation of the new group gives a forum to engage with other forward-thinking organisations, to share our individual successes and best practice, so that we can help others across the region to embrace diversity and inclusion.”

Heidi was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hull, acknowledging her achievements in business. She has also been appointed as HRH The Prince of Wales’ Ambassador to the North East by Business In The Community and was listed in the Telegraph newspaper’s Top 50 Women in Engineering list.

Suzy Firkin, Membership Director at WISE, said: “Many thanks to NWL for hosting this North East Hub event. It is always a pleasure to see the energy and enthusiasm of our members when they come together to share experiences and support each other in ensuring more women than ever before are an active part of the STEM workforce.”