Preview: Engineering Change
Esther Kaufmann, session producer for Engineering Change, on why opening up STEM careers to girls is still a pressing social issue – and what we can do to help.
Thursday 6th July, 2pm, in the HUBS Common Room
Let’s face an ugly truth: most young girls struggle to name even a single female engineer. Only 3 in 500 girls at 11 go on to study anything technical at university, and less than 9% of the UK engineering workforce are women. The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012 predicted that we needed 1.5m more STEM Professionals by 2020, and over 60% of the current UK school population will do jobs that currently do not exist – mostly in the STEM sector.
Don’t we have to prepare our kids for a world where almost everyone might need STEM skills at work? And don’t we have to prepare for a time when the lack of female STEM speicalists will become costly for us all, when the female engineers are really needed to keep things functioning?
Personally I thought that in the 21st century, STEM and girls would no longer be an issue. We have come so far with emancipation, I just assumed engineering and girls were no longer a big deal. Girls can play with chemistry kits just like boys, right? Things have changed, haven’t they? But like most of us, I was wrong.
We imminently need more female role models for girls to start envisioning themselves in the STEM field, and we urgently need TV shows for stressed-out teachers to use in their classrooms, and for unsure parents to watch with their little girls.
There are a number of new STEM-inspired shows aiming to shift the needle, and this session features speakers from some of the people involved in maing these programmes; thankfully, public and private broadcasters like the BBC have some amazing innovative projects to come very soon. Tech companies are finally willing to collaborate – and when even the Power Puff Girls start to code, we know we might be finally getting somewhere…
Vanessa Amberleigh, Executive Producer, CBeebies
Lesley Bailey, VP, Channel Marketing & Brand Management, Kids, Turner EMEA
Sandie Dinning, Head of Strategy & Planning, Zinc Media
Helen Heggie, Consultant, STEMFirst
Script Writer & Narrative Designer
VP, Channel Marketing & Brand Management, Kids
Head of Strategy & Planning
Head of Marketing