Engineering giant Amey is partnering with Girlguiding to encourage more young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem).
Girlguiding said its move followed research showing that only 3 per cent of girls aged seven to 10 would consider a career in engineering and half of girls aged 11-21 think Stem subjects have an image of being more for boys.
As part of its existing commitment to address the gender imbalance – which includes a 100-strong network of STEM Ambassadors – Amey will co-sponsor the charity’s new Innovate skills builder badges and activities.
These have been designed with the company’s expert input to excite and empower girls to discover more about STEM.
The Innovate skills builder, one of 12 skills builders being launched this summer as part of the charity’s overhauled programme of badges and activities, has six stages spanning across all guiding sections from Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and on to Rangers reaching girls aged 5-18. Girls will be awarded a badge as they complete each of the six stages.
Activities girls will have the opportunity to complete include carrying out scientific experiments, creating algorithms for robots, planning video games, learning about binary code through making computer science themed bracelets and having a go at being a crime scene investigator – to name a few.
Jess Bond, of Girlguiding, said: “Girls have told us they want more careers advice about what they can do with different subjects at school.
“It’s really great to have expert input from Amey into the design of the activities that will be on offer to girls and to tackle the misconception that Stem subjects are more for boys.”
Girlguiding estimate that over 150,000 girls will complete the Innovate skills builder every year.
Amey has offices in Manchester and has contracts with United Utilities, Manchester City Council and Trafford Council.
Nicola Hindle, Amey’s consulting and rail MD, said: “Inspiring more girls to see a career using STEM subjects is a priority to us and we’re really excited to strengthen our existing commitment to addressing the industry’s gender imbalance through our partnership with Girlguiding.
“The charity is synonymous with teaching girls new skills in a safe and fun environment and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to use our vast expertise to design and support this ground-breaking new programme. We have high aspirations that our work with Girlguiding will result in a new generation of women leading the UK forward, innovating in STEM.”
Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister for the Year of Engineering, said: “Girlguiding provides an excellent platform for girls to develop themselves to become confident young women who are able to reach their full potential.
“The Innovate skills builder badge is an excellent way of giving girls a flavour of how interesting and rewarding a career in STEM can be. Girls are often drawn to careers where they feel they can make a difference in improving and enriching others’ lives.
“In the Year of Engineering, I hope that it will inspire and encourage girls to take a closer look behind engineering, and STEM subjects more widely, so they can discover for themselves how by studying these subjects, they too can make a positive difference to society and the world around us.”