Chamber leads on new initiative to encourage girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers. Making STEM happen by collaborating with Schools and changing young girl’s perspectives.
 
Research suggest that while girls are achieving better academic results than boys at the age of 16, relatively fewer young women are choosing science or science related subjects for further study. Boys tend to dominate in maths, science and technology at A Level and far more men than women study these subjects in higher education. This has significant implications for men’s and women’s career choices and future earning, a total of 60% of working women are clustered in only 10% of occupations.  

The challenge lies in raising young girl’s career aspirations and improving workplace skills. The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce has been given a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with schools in order to encourage young girls to peruse STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related subjects. The Chamber has been commissioned to deliver a pilot project from the Government Equalities Office (GEO) to examine the gender split in key subjects and ultimately find ways to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects. The ultimate aim of this programme is to examine the various ways in which girls assimilate careers advice or experience interaction with business in order to learn what works for girls in this area.

The Chamber will be working with a partnership steering group which will include of Vision Path Skill, Media Boffins, MBDA, MSD, WES, IET, University of Hertfordshire and Stevenage Bio Science catalyst. The group will be chaired by Kate Bellingham and will meet on a regular basis to agree on an action plan of activities over the year and examine criteria used to assess the impact of the partnership and associated activities. These activities will include:

  • Business visits to schools and students to businesses
  • “CREST in a day”
  • Tomorrows Engineer week
  • Visits to engineering companies
  • Creative Science Projects

Generally, the fundamental objective is to create a sustainable partnership between schools and businesses. This will be done by arranging regular meetings, ensuring that a suitable range of activities are implemented and by contacting companies in sectors that have traditionally been male-dominated. This will allow girls to become exposed to careers where women are underrepresented and ultimately increase interest in STEM related subjects.

The Chamber welcomes any offers from businesses in STEM related industries to invite the students, parents and teachers to their premises for a tour. The Chamber is also looking for ambassadors from industries to visit the schools and participate in café style discussions and take part in creative activities.

To pledge your support please contact Sulina Odwong at Sulinaodwong@hertschamber.com