Workshops encourage girls into STEM subjects
Pupils from Crieff High School were among girls from across Perth and Kinross who learned about the benefits of pursuing a career in fields based around science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) this week.
More than 150 girls attended an event at Perth College UHI on Tuesdayto learn more about the benefits of studying and working in what’s referred to as the ‘STEM industries’.
Currently, only one in four people working in STEM industries in Scotland is female.
At the event, the girls heard from a number of female speakers, including Tracy Scott from Seric Systems Limited and Lynsey Young from the Royal Navy, about how they got into their jobs.
The girls were also able to take part in a number of workshops at the college, including understanding computer and transport networks, and learning the basics of building a computer.
Stuart Macdonald, founder of SmartSTEMs – which aims to encourage more teenage girls to study STEM subjects at school – said: “We are delighted to pull together many wonderful industry partners and scores of generous volunteers to deliver this great event for these young boys and girls.
“We’re proud to be playing our part in making Scotland a great place to discover and pursue STEM careers.”
Catherine Etri, sector development director for business, management, computing and leisure at the college, added: “Computing is for everyone and it is all around us, but when it comes to employment or education – the question is, where are all the girls?
“Females are enthusiastic users of technology, but they are considerably under-represented in its creation.
“From high school onwards, there is a real lack of female participation in this significant and rapidly expanding area.
“There are serious skills gaps across Scotland and the UK and if we don’t seek to address these, there will be serious consequences for our involvement in the development of technical innovation.
“This event at Perth College UHI will hopefully help address this issue.”
The event comes as research shows science and technology jobs will grow twice as fast as other occupations between now and 2023.
EDF Energy, which helped to organise the event at Perth College UHI, is aiming to get reach more than 2000 girls this year to help address the lack of women entering the industry.
Paul Winkle, the firm’s Scottish business director, said: “At the moment only one in four people working in core STEM industries in Scotland is a woman.
“Encouraging girls to study subjects that will open up a career in these areas is critical to filling the future skills gap.
“We are delighted to be supporting an organisation which is committed to that.
“I hope this event will inspire more girls to consider pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or maths.”
The other schools involved in Tuesday’s event were Pitlochry High School, Kinross High School, Perth’s St John’s RC Academy, Perth Grammar School and Perth Academy.
Career path Event aimed to foster girls’ interest in STEM subjects