Dr Bolatito Ariyo – Head of School for Humanities and Applied Sciences at the Waterloo Centre
What is your name and role at Morley?
My name is Dr Bolatito Ariyo and my role at Morley College is Head of School for Humanities and Applied Sciences at the Waterloo Centre.
What made you choose to work at Morley?
My reason for choosing to work at Morley College is multi-faceted. I like the diverse nature of the curriculum offer and the city location of the college. I have worked across London at various educational establishments for over 20 years, and this is my third year at Morley College. I like the opportunity Morley College provides for me to grow as a person in my profession as well as tap into any opportunity to explore my general interests as a student too. The college is well placed to allow people from all walks of life to develop professionally, personally and socially, this inspires me as an educational practitioner to do more and look at how I can contribute to people through my role at the College.
Do you think there are any particular difficulties in your subject area for women, what are they and how could they be overcome?
Yes, my specialist subject areas are within science and engineering, for many years since the start of data collection it is recognised that there is underrepresentation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professions. Historically there has always been low participation by females but women are making progress to change that by gaining qualifications and recognition for their participation. Educational establishments and science-affiliated organisations are continuously exploring ways to encourage female uptake and participation for example by celebrating women in science and engineering (WISE) events, holding women in STEM events and career open days. At Morley College within the School of Humanities & Applied Sciences, we definitely contribute to exploring and implementing ways to encourage more women into STEM careers by participating in promotional events.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about studying in or a career in your subject area?
The world needs women in STEM professions, so follow your dreams and believe that you can do it. The world of STEM is rich and full of opportunities across many fields be it business, healthcare, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, space, technology or education. The opportunities will never decrease, and they will continue to grow. So, women feel inspired to explore and take up the opportunities STEM fields bring now and for the future.
Who is a female role model in your life and why – this could be personally or professionally?
Firstly, my mother, and secondly one of my cousins. My mother is a strong woman, and she also dabbled a bit into computer science as a young woman and therefore encouraged her daughters to aim high. My cousin is recognised as one of the first female electrical engineers in Nigeria, she studied in the 1960s in the UK and to date she is the founder and president of the women’s society of engineers in Nigeria. I really admire strong women whether relatives or those in position of power as they have helped me navigate male dominated environments.
What’s a future goal for you?
My long-term goal is to continue growing with Morley College as a senior curriculum manager and to take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much value as possible to the Curriculum innovation and implementation. I would like to explore additional accredited pathways across humanities and applied sciences with the aim to reach out to hard-to-reach communities across London. My main personal subject expertise is science, but I am also interested in all aspects of the curriculum I oversee, it would be exciting to look at Business applications across a broad range of subject areas too. I would also like to investigate and develop integrated business development opportunities for people to understand how to use business skills whatever they choose to do.
What other skills do you and the College teach students alongside the normal curriculum of the course?
As a teaching practitioner, I also aim to teach students a whole range of skills that they can use to navigate the world of work these include decision making, clear communication, research and time management to mention a few. In addition, students that join Morley College learn and gain opportunities to enhance their skills in the use of IT, teamwork, social interaction, presentation and resilience. They also develop an understanding and value of diversity by mixing with people of different backgrounds and ethnicities within the learning environment at the different Morley College centres.
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