How did Include Me come about?

Diversity and Inclusion in the STEM Sector

My whole 20+++ year career is based around the STEM sector. I have worked for financial giants such as FT, Reuters, HSBC, Grant Thornton. I have worked with cutting edge scientists to establish a high-growth Yorkshire-based biotech company; and with world leading research organisations such as University of Manchester to spin out research groups.

I also worked on a fascinating project that took me to all the Northern cities in a quest to explore what ambitious, innovative companies needed to succeed. Whilst doing this I also built relationships with ecosystem partners such as investors (of all shapes and sizes), research organisations, Universities, accelerators, incubators and LEP/councils who were actively involved in supporting our tech communities. This exercise taught me a lot about what is ‘actually’ going on in our industry on a micro and macro level and yelled at me about why we need more diversity and inclusion in the STEM sector.

This experience coupled with what is happening in the world currently, led me recently to share my full ‘unconventional’ career journey – a mixed race, Northern girl from a very working-class background. Putting my story out there on LinkedIn was scary (you NEVER know how you will be judged). I did it because I still see a lack of diversity in tech and more broadly in STEM.

The response? Well, it was overwhelming! And it occurred to me that the collective reach of such diverse contacts, from the business world, that held up their hands and offered support was incredible! As a result, Include Me was born to drive forward key issues to create real impact and change in several targeted areas (around women in tech, women in STEM and BAME).

It’s through the support of incredible people who are willing to join up, connect, collaborate and share their expertise and networks that we can take the necessary steps to make change happen across our region! 

Mel Ellyard

Thank you all for your time, passion and contribution

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