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The beauty of STEM

By Leslie Whyte-Venables posted 5 days ago


As a Regional Network Lead at STEM Learning, I recognise that the beauty of a career in STEM is the diversity of sectors and roles involved - but have any of your pupils ever considered a STEM career in the beauty industry? If you've used toothpaste, shower gel or applied makeup or hair products today, they will have been formulated, tested, manufactured, marketed, packaged and distributed by a host of STEM professionals.

I recently attended an event held by the British Beauty Council at Number 11 Downing Street, together with key beauty brands and government representatives to discuss how to grow and nurture existing and new talent within the UK beauty sector. The beauty industry contributes £30bn to the UK’s GDP.

Millie Kendall, CEO of the British Beauty Council, said: “We must invest in the product creators, formulation technologists, clinical scientists, manufacturing specialists, packaging technicians of the future. The Beauty Council Future Talent programme brings together those who share our vision to promote further education and future career opportunities in STEM to traditionally under-represented groups.”

Young people are increasingly interested in mitigating against climate change and want to know more about sustainable products and packaging that they buy. The UKRI funded STEM Ambassador programme can support the beauty sector by providing the framework for schools and colleges to request volunteers into the classroom, and will be working with the beauty industry to recruit Future Talent STEM ambassadors across the UK. Request a STEM Ambassador – either in person or remotely – here.

Look out for further resources coming soon to help you bring contexts to young people’s STEM learning and the range of roles available within the beauty industry that STEM subjects can lead to.

In the meantime No7 has produced two great short films spotlighting some of the people that work within the organisation and their job roles related to STEM.