HRH, The Princess Royal visits UTC Reading to help launch online resource to help girls find rewarding careers in STEM
On Wednesday 23 January, UTC Reading received a visit from HRH, The Princess Royal and Patron of WISE, to mark the launch of a new online career game for young girls, with a group of UTC Reading students being the first to test it out.
My Skills My Life, released by WISE, aims to reverse the trend for young girls being turned off from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers.
WISE aims to reach 200,000 girls with the free to use game, allowing them to discover strengths and skills, providing real life role models. It will also provide teachers, careers advisors and parents with a different way to engage girls with the subjects.
UTC Reading hosted this event for over 60 representatives from across industry and education, visiting to learn all about the campaign. A group of female students were the first to test out this new interactive game, given support from leading industry businesses such as Network Rail, BAE Systems and UK Space Agency. The game helps girls to identify their personality types, shows them the types of roles in STEM they could do, and matches them to role models who share their personality type to learn more about STEM careers.
Year 12 student, Coralee, said: “Today has really expanded my horizons and taught me what kinds of jobs are actually out there. It has given me a lot more exciting options to explore.”
Caitlin, former UTC Reading student, now working for industry partner, Peter Brett Associates, said: “It’s been great to come back here today and talk to the students about being a girl in engineering and my experience of it. I was able to talk to them about so many amazing opportunities and they were asking a lot of questions. I think this campaign is great because it makes young girls recognise that they can work in a STEM-related career, and gives them the confidence to pursue it, if that is an area of interest for them.”
Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive Officer for WISE, explains: “More girls than boys *drop science, maths and computing when they choose options at 16. When you take out health, fewer than 1 in 5 of science, technology and engineering jobs in the UK are held by women. We simply have to get better at showing girls that maths, science and technology open doors to exciting, well-paid jobs where they can make a real difference to the world.”
Helen continues: “The game uses mobile technology to connect girls with young women who have found great jobs using science, technology or maths. It is a simple, modern solution, accessible to every teenage girl in the country and helps girls make that connection between studying STEM subjects and the real world.”
Stephanie Mitchell, Executive Director of Specialisms and Lead for Women in STEM at UTC Reading, adds: “Working with WISE comes at a time that is so vital in addressing the gender balance within STEM subjects. In the current climate, it is essential that we are providing our girls with role models and routes for progression that challenge stereotypes and push perceptions. The new digital platform developed by WISE allows us to celebrate female talents and empower our girls to be whatever they want to be.”