The power of female role models in STEM
Young women cannot be what they cannot see. We must showcase more role models of young women working in exciting STEM roles.
It is very hard to imagine something you cannot see. So when we think about how we can inspire and influence girls to consider a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), a starting point must be to showcase more role models of young women, happily working in exciting STEM roles today.
That’s why CA Technologies became the founding supporter of the WISE Campaign’s People Like Me Goes Digital which aims to inspire girls into STEM based subjects, with a target of reaching 200,000 girls in the UK.
Industry, NGOs and Government must work together to address the chronic STEM skills gap and particularly the lack of diversity in our sector.
What convinced CA Technologies to support the program is that it first helps girls understand who they are and how their personality fits into roles within the workplace. As girls tend to articulate themselves using adjectives, a core component of the program is a quiz which the girls complete using the adjectives that best describe them. Through understanding their own aptitudes and characteristics it helps them find roles in which they can be happy and successful.
Secondly, role models of young women like themselves are then presented to the girls which helps them relate and explore avenues that they may not have considered originally.
Data from the Open University shows People Like Me has a clear impact on girls’ ambitions and interests.
So, in preparation for the digital roll out later in 2018, more role models are urgently needed. If you are female, working in STEM and under 30, please put yourself forward or nominate a colleague or friend. We’re looking for women in any STEM role, regardless of career path.
Young women cannot be what they cannot see, and all of us can make a difference by sharing our choices and experiences with the next generation.