Ford Media Center

Winner of Ford Prize For Women in STEM Studies Announced

Brentwood, Essex, Jan 8, 2016 – Ford is delighted to announce that University of London student, Melissa Matthews, is the winner of the 2015 STEM Studies prize.

Recognising that women are traditionally under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) studies and the related professions, the Ford prize aims to recognise the achievements of women studying STEM-based subjects and to encourage other women to become involved.

Graham Hoare, director Ford Global Engineering Operations, awarded the 1st Prize, of a £1000, to Melissa Matthews, who is in her first year of a Biomedical degree at St George’s, University of London.

Through the assessment process Melissa demonstrated her skills as a great ambassador for STEM subjects having mentored young girls in maths and chemistry, and showed her continued commitment to encouraging others.

On receiving the prize, Melissa said: “It was motivating to see women in senior positions within Ford Motor Company promoting STEM careers, and I will do my best to inspire the next generation of women in STEM and to encourage all young girls, with a passion for science, to consider a degree within these fields, the opportunities are endless.”

The assessment process was supported by Your Life campaign director, Karen Gregory, who said: “It was brilliant to meet the shortlisted candidates and to see how involved and committed these young women are to promoting STEM. Young people need to know that maths and science can lead to all sorts of exciting opportunities and it’s with the help of ambassadors, like Melissa, that we can succeed.”

Your Life is a business-led initiative that aims to boost young people’s participation in science, technology, engineering and maths, the “STEM” subjects. Ford is one of eight main corporate sponsors of the Your Life campaign which targets 14-16 year olds, as they start to make key education decisions. Your Life also aims to encourage young people, especially girls, to study maths and physics as a gateway into wide-ranging science and engineering-based careers, while also helping employers to recruit and retain this talent.

Runners up prizes (£250 each) were also awarded to the following students:

  • Zahra Farsijani (Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London)
  • Alice Goodwin (Aerospace Engineering, Swansea University)
  • Zoe Slattery (Electronic Engineering and Information Systems, Imperial College)

About Your Life

Industry led and Government backed, the Your Life campaign showcases the dynamic career opportunities unlocked by studying science and Maths in order to drive uptake of Maths and Physics at A Level/Highers, particularly amongst female students. In a changing world dominated by innovation, technology and exciting new possibilities, the skills learned from taking Maths and Physics at school, college and university are crucial to success in all careers. Through its coalition of major employers, Your Life demonstrates the opportunities and job prospects these subjects provide. For more information please go to

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

Ford of Europe

is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 50,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (13 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and 11 unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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