* indicates required

Guides get a taste of engineerting careers

They had a taste of the new Innovate skills builder during their visit, part of a partnership between the national Girlguiding charity engineering, consulting and infrastructure support services company Amey, to empower and encourage more girls and young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.The three-year partnership comes after Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey results from the past three years show that more needs to be done to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in STEM:
– Only 3% of girls aged 7-10 would consider a career in engineering (2015)
– 52% of girls aged 11-21 think STEM subjects have an image of being more for boys (2016)
– 20% of girls aged 11-21 think physics is more for boys and 29% think computing is more for boys (2017)
Emily, 18, an Olney Senior Section member, said: “I think it’s important for women to be seen and valued in science and technology. Most of my science teachers are men and I’m the only girl in my maths A-level class.
“From my experience boys seem to get more support from teachers in science, and while girls get support too, they often have to go out of their way to find it.
“In Girlguiding you’re allowed to be yourself and that really helps girls to be able to get into STEM. It’s really exciting that the new Innovate skills builder will teach girls from a young age that STEM is there and it’s achievable.”
The Innovate skills builders recognise the core skills girls develop through guiding – from survival skills and innovation to leadership and communication. Girls will build on these skills as they move through each section, helping to ensure continuity in their guiding.
Girlguiding estimate that over 150,000 girls will complete the Innovate skills builder every year.
Amey’s consulting and rail managing director Nicola Hindle said: “Inspiring more girls to see a career using STEM subjects is a priority to us and we’re really excited to strengthen our existing commitment to addressing the industry’s gender imbalance through our partnership with Girlguiding.
“The charity is synonymous with teaching girls new skills in a safe and fun environment and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to use our vast expertise to design and support this ground-breaking new programme.
“We have high aspirations that our work with Girlguiding will result in a new generation of women leading the UK forward, innovating in STEM.”
The government’s minister for the year of engineering Nusrat Ghani said: “Girlguiding provides an excellent platform for girls to develop themselves to become confident young women who are able to reach their full potential. The Innovate skills builder badge is an excellent way of giving girls a flavour of how interesting and rewarding a career in STEM can be.
“Girls are often drawn to careers where they feel they can make a difference in improving and enriching others’ lives. In the Year of Engineering, I hope that it will inspire and encourage girls to take a closer look behind engineering, and STEM subjects more widely, so they can discover for themselves how by studying these subjects, they too can make a positive difference to society and the world around us.”

More from Bedford: