07th November 2019
Girlguiding constantly aims to provide young women with invaluable opportunities and empower them to have fun whilst preparing them for their future. This recently involves challenging the huge gender imbalance of those who choose to be involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Girlguiding as a whole, works with female role models, holds events which focus on STEM subjects, and leads sessions with the aim of encouraging members, from Rainbows age to Rangers.
In the Girls’ Attitudes Survey carried out by Girlguiding in 2016, 41% of girls aged 11-21 think that there are still too few women role models in STEM careers but with Girlguiding Units being led by women, there’s a lot that can be done to change this preconception.
Take a look at ways in which you can encourage your female members to get more involved in STEM subjects.
Work towards badges in STEM subjects
According to recent UCAS statistics, only 35% of STEM students in higher education are women. Although this is still a small percentage compared to male students, over the past decade, this number has grown considerably.
Recently, more and more STEM-themed badges have been introduced to help young women work towards their aspirations outside of an educational setting. There are now endless STEM-themed badges that Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers can work towards.
Some of our favourites include Genealogy, Inventing, Space and Construction.
Organise trips to see women in action in roles that require STEM skills and experience
Allow them to choose their own path
Giving your Girlguiding members the choice to follow and further develop their skills in a specific (or multiple) STEM subject of their choice is more likely to encourage them, by allowing them to create their own path.
There has been an emphasis on encouraging girls to be more involved in STEM subjects in schools, but there is still a huge gender bias with boys being seen as more suited to these types of subjects. Encouraging your young members to choose their own interests without societal pressures can prove invaluable. You never know, your meetings might ignite a passion for a certain career that they go on to excel in.
Share your skills
As a female leader, there’s nothing more useful than showing off your skills to your younger members and allowing them to see that females in technical roles are a realistic option.
Prepare fun activities which show what you or your team get involved in outside of your Girlguiding meetings and how you overcome certain obstacles you may face.
Hearing firsthand stories and advice from women they look up to, is invaluable when it comes to female representation, and is likely to encourage the next generation of women wanting to take part in technical careers.
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