What Inspires Women Into Tech?

Posted 8/3/2021 by Benet Hanley

"Don't be scared to do something different. Just because not all your fellow friends may be choosing subjects such as engineering doesn't mean you shouldn't. Do what you love, and you are bound to succeed." - Ala Bochnacka - Southampton

According to studies, boys and girls start out with no apparent differences in aptitude for maths and science. In fact, girls shine more academically, including in STEM subjects.

However, girls tend to drop STEM subjects in adolescence, even though they do well in these subjects. Less than one-third of female students decide to pursue higher education degrees in engineering and mathematics. Although these may seem like wholly self-driven choices on the surface, it is clear that they are borne out of years of absorbing messages that diminish girls’ interest in the sciences. The result: they shrink back and settle for more "female-friendly" paths.

A study in 1996 showed that girls begin to lose their intellectual self-esteem in  school and come to believe that men possess more intelligence and are better in fields of science, technology, and mathematics. Globally this results from factors such as environmental biases, shortage of funds for educating the girls in many parts of the world, and the disparity in educational systems.

In 2016, the share of female ICT specialists in the EU was a meagre 16.7% compared to 83.3% males. This figure is disheartening. However, there is yet hope as the figure is rising and STEM is piquing the interest of more girls.

What Has Changed?

Everything is changing! As knowledge increases, girls are being encouraged to recognise that they are as good as boys and men in every way.

Girls and women are breaking out of the trap of societal norms and social opinions of what girls' and women's roles should be. Lydia Moore, who is based in Southampton, accurately points out the STEM girl's perspective to be: "If you don't expect the man to do it, don't expect the woman to either – everyone has an equal right to be a part of the industry, so treat them accordingly."

Events like the WES Conference help to inspire girls and women today. The WES Student Conference participants sponsored by Enigma People Solutions in partnership with UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) confirm this. As Frances Hu, based in Manchester, puts it, "the fact that people use electronic devices on a day-to-day basis not only in simple applications but also to help some with more meaningful tasks such as medical care" is her inspiration for going into the field of tech.

More to Come

Nothing beats self-realization and personal inspiration. Southampton-based Ala Bochnacka's view of STEM doubles as a challenge to women and girls interested in the field: "I think the technology industry is ever-evolving; 20 years ago, I don't think anyone expected technology would progress as much as it has. With the evolution of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud, the future looks exciting."

We at Enigma People Solutions believe that there's no such thing as a "woman" or "man" skill, career path, or job. Science, technology, engineering, and maths are suitable paths for every young girl that chooses to defy the status quo. There's more for girls in STEM, they just have to be encouraged that opportunities are available to them!

What We Do

Enigma People Solutions partners with the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) to sponsor female students in the UK to attend the WES Conference every year. We’re dedicated to exposing young women to the world of STEM, inspiring their passion for technology, establishing them in their various fields of choice, and seeing the number of women in STEM grow exponentially. We’re working towards a society where women are as likely as men to engage in science and engineering careers. We know it’s achievable. That’s why we do what we do.

For more information on this program and other initiatives, please email us at hello@enigmapeople.com or call +44 131 510 8150.

Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland and the UK. Check out our blog page for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on + 44 131 510 8150

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