The overarching theme of the day was to show the wide variety of careers available in STEM businesses, from data scientist to communication specialist to developer. Sessions included speed networking with women in a wide range of job roles; planning and technology workshops run by each of the companies; a People Like Me teaching session, delivered by executives from CA, to identify which personality traits are best suited to which STEM careers; and a debate around what is stopping young women entering the industry.
Sarah Atkinson, VP Communications for EMEA at CA Technologies, said: “As a result of the STEM skills gap in Europe, the European Commission estimates that there could be up to 825,000 unfilled vacancies for ICT* professionals by 2020. In addition to this, we are seeing fewer young women coming into STEM careers than young men. By running events like Girls Can Create Tomorrow, we hope to help readdress the gender imbalance in the technology industry and to close a skills gap which could have a very real impact on our business in a few short years.”
CA Technologies, which also supports the European Commission’s Grand Coalition on Digital Jobs, ran the Girls Can Create Tomorrow event as part of its Create Tomorrow initiative, an EMEA-wide program that engages its 2,000 strong workforce in the region in programs to help address the skills gap and champion the creation of digital jobs. CA works with local non-profit Learning to Work to deliver its Create Tomorrow programme in the UK.
Students attended from Langley Academy, Slough & Eton School, Herschel Grammar School, Brakenhale Academy and Upton Court Grammar School. Ellen Culkeen, a teacher at Slough & Eton School, explained why she had brought students to the event:
“Events like this are important to inspire and motivate the students to aim higher. I wanted the young women to get some hands on experience of the workplace and to introduce them to new fields that might be of interest to them. It’s so valuable for them to see female role models doing well in the male dominated field of STEM.”
James Swynford-Lain, a Physics teacher from Brakenhale Academy, added: “Events like this are great for introducing girls to successful women, to show them that high level, important jobs are within their reach.”
*Information and Communications Technology