Girls are far less likely to study STEM subjects at A Level or degree level – and, as a result, far fewer women than men work in a STEM job. The aim of the Open Day, held at the Centre for Applied Sciences in Angel, was to exhibit the wide and varied world of STEM subjects and the careers available to those who study them. For many of the students at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, it was their first chance to visit the college, where many of them will study A Levels.
David Swinscoe, Centre for Applied Sciences Head, said: “It’s a shocking fact that only 13% of those working in science, technology, engineering or maths jobs in the UK are women. This is a disaster for our country’s competitiveness on the global stage, as it means that these industries do not have a diverse workforce.
“It’s a tragedy for young women too, as they are being denied so many potential careers, including in engineering, aerospace, coding, software development, bioscience, research, surveying, forensics, microbiology, robotics, product design or maybe teaching a STEM subject at a school, college or university.
“That’s why we run this open day: to help the girls – and their teachers – share our passion for these subjects and the courses that we offer. Every year, dozens of young women study a STEM subject at City & Islington College – including many from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, with whom we have had a long and happy partnership. Many of our students progress either to a job, or on to university to take their skills to the next level. With a STEM A Level or degree on their CV, the sky is the limit.”
Paul McIntyre, Assistant Headteacher at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, added: “The STEM day at City and Islington College was an excellent opportunity for our Year 9 students to find out more about the wide range of courses and career options available to them in science, technology, engineering and maths. These are not considered by some to be ‘traditional’ female careers, but at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, we strongly believe that our students should pursue the career that they want, no matter what the perceptions are. I think the day was a real eye-opener for many of our young women and I hope that it has inspired some of them to look further at STEM.”