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Cheshire Science Corridor will encourage more women to embrace STEM jobs


Cheshire Science Corridor is home to over 7,000 businesses

Chester Zoo’s Head of Sustainability today labelled the Cheshire Science Corridor as a “showcase to the world” and said the “diversity and breadth” of pioneering businesses would encourage more women to embrace jobs within the STEM sectors.

Led by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Cheshire Science Corridor is rapidly evolving into a globally recognised hub for science and technology, with a primary focus on life sciences, net zero, nuclear innovation, and high-value manufacturing. It serves as a centre for leading businesses, cutting-edge research initiatives, and top-tier talent.

The Cheshire Science Corridor is now home to over 7,000 businesses and world class science and technology assets ranging from Alderley Park, the UK’s largest single life sciences campus, to Origin in Ellesmere Port, where the ambition is to create the World’s first Net Zero industrial cluster.

And today as we celebrate International Women’s Day, Jennifer Kelly, Head of Sustainability at Chester Zoo, which joined the science corridor last year, said its wide-ranging collection of trailblazing businesses and exciting collaborations offered a “showcase to the world” and would undoubtedly encourage more women - underrepresented in STEM sectors - to play leading roles in life-sciences and other industries.

"It is really important to see women represented and celebrated in STEM organisations and sectors, to inspire the next generation of talent.

“Seeing diversity across a range of organisations, like those in the Cheshire Science Corridor, will only make STEM subjects more attractive to women.”

After growing up nearby to, and being inspired by, Chester Zoo, Jennifer embarked on a career within sustainability and conservation, working for a number of organisations including Leeds University, environment bodies for the Welsh Government, and global engineering and sustainable development consultancy, Arup.

In 2022, she was appointed as Head of Sustainability for global wildlife conservation and education charity, Chester Zoo.

Jennifer hailed Chester Zoo’s “brilliant Science team and our inspirational Head of Science, Dr. Sue Walker”, who are spearheading globally important work to prevent extinction.

And she said being part of the Cheshire Science Corridor has “opened doors for collaboration and networking” for the zoo, while being part of a wider scientific community has facilitated greater consideration of nature within science.

Through her engagement with Cheshire and Warrington LEP, and the organisations they support, she has seen how they help to build networks across the region, which “plays a really important role in inspiring women, and everyone, across our region”, highlighting their role in creating and showcasing opportunities.

She stressed the value of mentorship, drawing from her own experiences both as a mentee and a mentor throughout her career, highlighting the “incredible confidence that you can build with support and advice from people who have gone before you.”

She also praised platforms like the Women’s Engineering Society - through which Jennifer was named one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2020 for her work on sustainability – for their role in championing women in STEM and helping women to succeed.