29th January 2016
#GirlsInSTEM, the brilliant campaign that encourages young women into jobs in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), trended on Twitter for most of yesterday. Here's why.
Global professional services firm Accenture, STEMettes (a group founded to inspire the next generation of STEM females), and partners like Virgin Media, yesterday organised special events across the UK and Ireland: in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Dublin.
More than 1800 school-age young women were intrigued and enthralled by examples of the latest technology in action, hackathons, app constructions, coding workshops, and virtual exhibitions by companies like Oculus Rift and Women in Gaming.
There were also speeches from women across politics and business, including Virgin Media’s very own Director of Digital, Rhona Bradshaw; Jo Dutton, our Director of Customer Engineering; our Head of Transformation for Customer, Mel Serventi; and Amelia Mansell, our Head of Performance and Reliability.
Each of them spoke about how Virgin Media succeeds because we have committed to a diverse workforce representative of our customers, and includes, of course, female scientists and engineers. As part of their presentations, they showed a film we made especially for the occasion which highlights STEM at Virgin Media: you can watch it here.
Research from Accenture has highlighted that although 80% of young women believe that studying STEM subjects leads to good career opportunities, half actually think that STEM careers are more suited to men; with almost 30% believing that they “fit boys’ brains better”.
As these sorts of opinions lie unchallenged in many parts of our educational establishments, yesterday’s events were about business and industry bringing young women and their teachers together to do the important job of dispelling those myths and begin redesigning our future: #GirlsInSTEM