The Randox STEM Challenge is aimed at tackling the gender divide and skills gap in the science, technology, engineering and maths industry. On average in the UK women make up just 9% of the engineering workforce. Though Randox is bucking the trend with almost 16% of female engineers, it is still keen to challenge itself to encourage more women to view it as a viable career option.
Click on each Randox STEM initiative below to read more about it.
At Randox we have launched a new returnship scheme which is being supported by the NI Chamber of Commerce. The six-month programme is designed for people who have had a break of two years or more. It will challenge society’s misconceptions surrounding career breaks and support both men and women in restarting their careers.
Providing young women with positive role models is crucial if we are to inspire them to take up a career in science, technology, engineering or maths. That's why Randox has teamed up with other key employers and organisations within Northern Ireland to celebrate the work of STEMinists across the country and share their stories.
Over 50 students from Northern Ireland took part in the first annual ‘STEM Challenge’ hosted at the Randox Science Park. The event, held on International Women in Engineering Day, rounded off a week during which global diagnostics company Randox unveiled a number of initiatives to celebrate and promote women in STEM.
As an international organisation that aims to deliver world class pioneering research that will revolutionise healthcare worldwide, we are always pleased when the next generation of scientists want to come and visit us. So we were delighted when Ballymacrickett Primary School got in touch with us to organise a visit.
Last week Randox welcomed primary 7 pupils from Ballymacricket Primary School to our Randox labs to gain a first class insight into the work that we carry out here. As part of the collaboration Randox is sponsoring Ballymacrickett Primary School to conduct their very own STEM project that will allow primary 7 pupils to take part in the Junior Innovators project. This project is run alongside Sentinus, a non-profit educational charity that works with schools throughout Northern Ireland to deliver programs to promote engagement in STEM subjects.
As part of the project the primary 7 pupils will conduct cross circular project work which can include workbooks, exhibition materials, models of products and even the development of a mini enterprise and their very own products. The aim of this project is to support the development of links between primary schools and local business and industry and to give classroom learning relevance to the world of work through a structured program of activity.
The first step in the project involves a visit to a local company, and we were thrilled to welcome over 50 pupils to our headquarters here in Crumlin from the 24th-27th October. The tour included a visit around our different departments and behind the scenes access to our science labs to gain a better insight into the work that we pioneer which was especially interesting.
At the end of the tour each pupil received a goodie bag filled with plenty of Randox stationery to take back to school with them.
We are delighted that the tour was both enjoyable and informative and sparked an interest in many more pupils to enter the world of science!
Good luck Ballymacrickett Primary School- We can’t wait to see your final project!
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We’re sure you’ve heard of “Speed Dating”, but what about “Speed Networking”? Randox’s R&D Scientist, Dr. Dwaine Vance tried it out to spread the word about Randox Careers in STEM!
Dr Dwaine Vance visited Omagh High School to represent Randox Careers. He sat down with us, and we discussed the importance of the event. Dr. Vance told us:
On Wednesday the 15th June I represented Randox Careers at a ‘speed networking’ event at Omagh High School. This involved groups of students moving from one employer stand to the next for a 5 minute ‘mini network’. There was two sessions during the morning involving GCSE level pupils. The aim of the ‘speed networking’ event was to provide pupils with opportunities to meet local Northern Irish companies within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors, of which Randox Laboratories play a pivotal role.
We, at Randox, want to inspire students to think about their own career plans and to allow them to gather information about the local job market. By doing this, we’re also giving them the opportunity to be aware of the jobs that are available and the importance of STEM related subjects, as well as letting them see how employers value their other curriculum subjects and their personal skills and attributes. My objective as a employee of Randox was to showcase a range of careers for all abilities within the company with a focus on STEM careers e.g. science and engineering.
The importance of spreading awareness of the opportunities in science and engineering from a young age is imperative, as many students are unaware of the vast range of differentiation in different careerpaths, stemming from one subject or degree class. Dr. Dwaine Vance went on to discuss the events of the networking conference:
As part of each ‘mini network’ I provided students with a brief overview of Randox. Students were given the opportunity to watch videos depicting our expertise and to ask questions about how their interests could be incorporated within Randox. The training department at Randox provided me with pop-up stands, recruitment pathway brochures, merchandise e.g. pens, stopwatches, mug coasters and even Biochip Array Technology key rings!
Overall the students gained a good knowledge of Randox, they were particularly keen to learn about the local and global opportunities available at Randox. In addition, students were keen to know more about the veterinary aspect of Randox. It was comforting to discover that the majority of pupils had previous knowledge of the Randox brand from the press (as we have recently experienced a great boost in brand visibility through Grand national sponsorship), Randox health (television adverts) and Confidante (local radio stations).
The pupils at Omagh High School were keen to ask me about my role within the company and what my day to day roles and responsibilities are. I was happy to provide students with my research and development activities and they were interested to hear that I was involved in the development of a genetic test that aims to predict your future risk of heart disease by investigating your own DNA.
At Randox I am part of a small team of experienced research scientists that are developing a genetic risk prediction test for heart disease and myocardial infarction. This test aims to simultaneously genotype 20 genetics variants that have been previously associated with increased risk of heart disease. This Randox molecular test is in collaboration with leading University academics and will help reduce the burden of heart disease throughout the world by providing an accurate risk assessment of disease so personalised treatment can be provided to those who require it most. To quote Randox Health, “Prevention is better than cure”.
From everyone at the Randox Careers team and from Dr. Dwaine Vance, we’d like to thank Omagh High School for inviting us to attend this incredibly beneficial Speed Networking event, where we feel we have truly impacted the young minds of tomorrow. We look forward to the future of diagnostics, with you!