In New Zealand, we are known for many things, including being forward-thinking on how we see women’s role in society. From being the first country to give women the right to vote, to electing a female Prime Minister, for the third time! We are proud of what we achieved but there is still a long way for women in NZ, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths sector (STEM).
We know girls and women are awesome and when given the opportunity to achieve their full potential, girls do ground-breaking feats. Look at the works of Kathleen Curtis, the first NZ woman to gain a Diploma in Science or Beatrice Tinsley, a stardom cosmologist known for her work on the formation and evolution of galaxies.
A recent study, from the UK Department of Education, found that girls outperformed boys in maths and science subjects, (68% of girls achieving top grades, compared to 65% of boys) Click To Tweet
We are constantly looking for ways to help girls and young women feel empowered and confident to pursue whatever path they want to follow. We know it’s not that girls aren’t interested in science. According to a MasterCard’s research, 85% of girls aged 12-14 want to pursue further studies in technology. Or that they lack the skills. In fact, a recent study, from the UK Department of Education, found that girls outperformed boys in maths and science subjects, (68% of girls achieving top grades, compared to 65% of boys).
However, Accenture NZ’s research discovered that around the age of 15, girls are more likely to see technology subjects as ‘academic’ and ‘boring’. We say it’s time to change that!
With this in mind, it’s important to engage girls’ minds in STEM while they are young. This year we are creating engaging and fun programmes for girls, like MagnifiScience 2019, a five-day event our girl members, between 10-17 years, attended in January. Where they had the chance to explore their robotic skills, understand what engineering could do for our communities, how computers think, what chemistry is all about and so much more!
We will have many more inspiring and educating programmes for girls coming soon. Stay tuned!