Little Miss Inventor: Inspiring Girls into STEM Subjects
The consistently low numbers of women in engineering are hindering the advancement of an industry that relies on innovation. Could the answer to the question of ‘How can we attract and retain female engineers’ lie in reaching potential talent at a much younger age?
Gender equality has long been at the top of the agenda for businesses across the UK, with the government’s Lord Davies Review targeting the FTSE 100 companies to increase the numbers of women on their Boards to 25%. The lack of female representation has this week also been highlighted in the Aerospace & Aviation industry, as EasyJet admits a 50% pay gap between female and male EasyJet employees in the UK.
However, little political attention has been devoted to women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and in particular the low female representation of the engineering sector. Whilst 20% of engineers in technology giant Google are women, only 9% of the UK’s engineering workforce is female – the lowest in Europe – while Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with 30%.
Leading industry experts suggest that the absence of women in engineering begins with a lack of visible role models and career encouragement throughout childhood. This week sees the launch of Little Miss Inventor to inspire young girls into a career in STEM.
Little Miss Inventor: Getting Women Into Engineering
The new character, Little Miss Inventor, will be the 39th in the popular Mr Men cartoon series by Roger Hargreaves. The new character is a welcome addition from the series, which has historically included more stereotypical characters aimed at girls including Little Miss Giggles and Little Miss Princess, which are paired with more aspirational male characters such as Mr Strong and Mr Marvellous.
Little Miss Inventor will launch on International Women’s Day 2018: a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. Held on 8th March next year, the day also aims to highlight the gender pay gap and promote equality in the workplace.
The launch of Little Miss Inventor and the campaign aimed at attracting women into STEM are not about diversity targets or arbitrary statistics – increasing the numbers of female engineers means accessing a completely new talent pool. 50% of the population has skills and potential that have not yet been harnessed: engineering companies around the world are soon to discover a new way to solve the engineering skills shortage.
Increasing the number of women in engineering also aids the recruitment of engineers from all backgrounds: when we see someone who looks like us, we are much more likely to believe we can achieve similar success. Little Miss Inventor aims to inspire girls from a young age, and help the aspiring engineers of today become the engineering industry leaders of the next generation.
Read more about How to Attract Women into Engineering.
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