The number of girls continuing to take a STEM subject at the age of 16 is just 35%, compared to 94% of boys. And this trend continues into higher education.
Tech organisations must encourage more diversity at all levels; including getting girls interested in tech at a young age. This will lay the foundations for them to take STEM subjects into higher education.
Our answer to this challenge was Girls Day. Girls Day encourages employees to bring their daughters to work to learn about tech.
In this blog post, I’m going to explain what goes on at these inspiring events – and why it matters.
From agile development to sumo bots
From building a Lego town using an agile product development framework, to connecting LED badges to motion sensors, the girls were using relevant tech frameworks and knowledge to complete the activities.
The showstopper was constructing and programming Pi robots. After building their robots, the girls programmed them to move in different patterns, changing the code and recording the effect it had.
In the last activity, the Pi robots became ‘sumo bots’. Each team got to battle their Pi robots, leading to chanting, cheering, disappointment and delight.
Laying foundations for the future
This was a fun-packed day that captured the imaginations of young girls, connected them to the world of tech and introduced them to female role models in our industry.
The results speak for themselves: 95% of the girls were more interested in tech after the event.
Many of the attendees are now creating games using scratch, and some even asked for a Pi robot for Christmas – five months after the event.
This alone won’t eradicate the gender pay gap in the next couple of years, but it will ensure the future pipeline is balanced and that it is sustainable for future generations.
By acting now, we have already started to make progress. To keep up the forward momentum this year, we’ll be hosting five more Girls Days for over 70 of our future female tech pioneers.
Read more blogs in the series:
Latest posts by Karen Thomson (see all)
- Reach: Supporting cultural diversity at the highest levels - September 2, 2019
- How Girls Days are building a pipeline of future female tech talent - July 24, 2019
- Inspiring Inclusive Leaders - March 27, 2019