Careers encouragement on International Women’s Day

Siemens and Roedean School will be among the organisations looking to emphasise the breadth of careers available to girls and young women

On International Women’s Day (8 March), young women and girls will be given the opportunity to ask the experts about STEM-related work. The live Facebook session is part of the Siemens Education SeeWomen project, a collaboration between Siemens and the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), aiming to “inspire and motivate young girls to pursue STEM careers and challenge gender stereotypes”.

It was launched on International Women’s Day 2016 at Withington Girls School, Manchester, with an original live stage show created by Siemens Education scientist and BBC presenter, Fran Scott.

In related news, Burgess Hill Girls have voted to rename their school houses in honour of inspirational women

Rachel Kerr, communications manager at GSA told IE: “It’s a chance to ask a woman engineer a question about any aspect of their job which a teacher or careers advisor may not be able to answer.

“The event will be live at 2.15pm on Friday 8 March, where you can get involved and ask the two Siemens engineers, Amber and Emma, questions. You can click ‘Get reminder’ so that you’re notified when the event goes live.”

Friday’s session will be followed in June by a live SeeWomen showcase at the National STEM Centre in York, catering to approximately 300 girls from local state and GSA schools.

“The show will be presented by science presenter Fran Scott and her team,” Kerr told us. “It takes the audience on an interactive journey as they investigate the world of STEM and learn about modern female role models, and their contributions to science and engineering, along the way. There are live experiments and thought-provoking activities to empower young girls to have the confidence to set future goals and pursue their dreams. Everyone who attends can claim a ‘SeeWomen’ Siemens Digital Badge.”

What pupils said BEFORE the SeeWomen showcase events

47% don’t know what job/career they want

71% considering continuing to study 2 or more STEM subjects at next level

54.8% have considered a job/career in science or engineering

67.6% did not know that Siemens is a UK company that recruits young people

55.6% know that the UK has a shortage of women in STEM jobs

What pupils said AFTER the SeeWomen showcase events

69.2% can imagine themselves in a STEM career

78.4% feel inspired to find out more about STEM careers

76.4% believe they now know more about the range of different STEM careers available

SeeWomen is not the only event looking to offer inspiration on International Women’s Day. Girls at Roedean School, for example, will have the opportunity to listen to real-life lessons from a wide range of successful women:

  • Olympic gold-winning hockey player, and LGBT campaigner, Helen Richardson-Walsh
  • Dame Carol Black, principal at Newnham College, Cambridge, newly appointed by Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to conduct a review on drugs and its links with extreme violence;
  • Assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, Rashidat Hassan
  • Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Queen’s Chaplain, who recently hit the headlines after saying Brexit has caused her to suffer her first taste of racism in years
  • Astronaut-in-waiting and planetary scientist, Dr Suzy Imber  
  • Terrorist expert and academic at Kings College London, professor Brooke Rogers 
  • Syrian refugee and doctor, Mais Tattan, who will tell the story of her escape from the war-torn country

Roedean headmaster, Oliver Blond, said: “We wanted to mark International Women’s Day by showing our pupils just exactly what is achievable in the world today. I like to think that the Lawrence sisters, who founded the school, would be delighted to see today’s young girls hearing about all the amazing achievements of the speakers. The purpose of the day is also to challenge and inspire the pupils to find their academic and wider passions, and voice their own opinions and aspirations.”

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