Over the years I have taken an interest in careers education and the messages we give to teenagers and in particular to girls and young women. I never had careers advice that told me it was ok to want to make money. I was never encouraged to look outside the socially acceptable roles and I want to see that changed. Did you know just one in four people working in core STEM roles in the UK are women?
Future industry trends and the technical and scientific society that we live in makes it inevitable that the future workplace is going to be dominated by the STEM subjects. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths, therefore, need to be made accessible to girls.
Schools have bought into this and we see a stronger emphasis especially in raising the profile of those subjects to girls. I am a school governor and we regularly have STEM days and year group projects that inspire and teach our children these important skills. We see children questioning how things are made and asking those big questions.
EDF Energy has developed a programme to enable parents and schools to support girls, Pretty Curious, now entering its third year, is focused on raising awareness of the under-representation of girls in STEM. The Pretty Curious programme aims to inspire girls to pursue STEM-related subjects at school and in their future careers. The campaign has given girls a real sense of what it might be like to work in STEM careers by providing hands-on experiences and digital content.
As a parent, I encourage my children to try new things and here are some tips on how parents can encourage their girls into STEM pathways:
- This year a sneaky peek into Erin’s Christmas stocking will show how much we are looking to develop her STEM skills. There is a coding set and how to make bath bombs with essential oils. These kits are designed to develop her natural curiosity and I can’t wait to do them with her.
- Another great way to get girls involved is by inspiring them with strong role models. EDF Energy are partnering with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with inspirational lead female characters such as Rey and Rose,
- EDF Energy has given girls a real sense of what it might be like to work in STEM careers by providing hands-on experiences at their Pretty Curious studio events all over the country and through their digital content, which you can take part in on their website such as the FutureMe.
- Create a sharable and personalised avatar in a STEM-related career to picture yourself in a potential future role ranging from a biologist to an electrical engineer. If you’re not sure what the future could hold, take the easy personality quiz to see what career may be best suited to your interests.
- Watch 360º videos to experience a day in the life of the architect of the Shard, see what it’s like to work on a wind farm or explore the offices of a software developer with everyday amazing women.
- Parents quiz Be the first to take the new parents quiz and see what STEM-related career would best suit your child. Identify their strengths, plus discover information and guidance on pursuing a career in that particular role once you receive your results.
As parents, we have key roles to play.
I have just been helping my eldest with her University application for instance and we have an important place in shaping their futures.
These tips are just some of the ways we can help our girls reach their potential, work in exciting fields and teach them to reach for the stars.
The more clued up we are as parents, the more we can support our children when they are making life-changing decisions.
What do you think of girls in STEM? Would you encourage your daughter to consider a career in that area?