Careers in science, technology, engineering and maths are not just for boys, was the message at an alternative careers event for girls at the DVLA in Swansea. Sioned was pleased to be invited by Wales’ leading gender equality charity, Chwarae Teg partnered with the DVLA to attend the Not Just for Boys event on the 14th of October. Not Just for Boys aims to give girls in years 8 and 9, from invited local schools, the chance to find out more about different career options before they choose their GCSE subjects.
The event was held at the offices of the DVLA, it is one of South Wales’ largest employers and is responsible for maintaining the registration and licensing of drivers in Great Britain. It is enthusiastic about encouraging girls into STEM subjects and has run a DVLA STEM volunteer-led programme since 2014 to promote STEM subjects to grass roots organisations and schools in Wales. The ICT careers fair was in celebration of two events - Ada Lovelace Day, an English Mathematician who was known for her work on the Analytical Engine and International Day of the Girl.
Sioned joined Birchgrove School attended the event, which particularly focussed on careers in ICT. The pupils attending the event went on a tour of the DVLA workplace to see what it is like to work in the ICT industry. They were able to meet and speak with female role models from a range of career paths within ICT and take part in try-a-trade activities.
The “Young Women’s Experiences of Careers Advice and Guidance in Wales” report published this month by Chwarae Teg explores the current picture of career advice services for young women in Wales. Frustratingly, is shows too many career choices continue to be shaped by longstanding gender stereotypes – leading to gender segregation in the workplace and Wales’ persistent gender pay gap. Women are still favouring traditionally female dominated sectors, despite the need for more women in sectors such as STEM which can offer higher salaries.
Sioned hopes that events such as these will help inform and inspire future generations of young women to explore careers which are not traditionally seen as being as open to women.