The not-for-profit organisation, which ‘works in partnership with the engineering community to inspire tomorrow’s engineers’, says that ‘despite some improvements, women are still significantly underrepresented in engineering and technology’ – making up just 16.5% of the engineering workforce, compared with 47.7% of the overall workforce. EngineeringUK says providing ‘high-quality and impactful’ STEM outreach activities for girls is ‘a vital part of addressing this’.
A summary of existing evidence, the new report aims to inform programme design and delivery for STEM engagement practitioners and funders, and to highlight gaps where more evidence is needed. Anna Horgan-Jones, Evaluation manager at EngineeringUK, said: “Engineering doesn’t feature highly on school curriculums, so high-quality, impactful STEM engagement activities are vital in helping inform and inspire young girls towards these careers. We hope the learnings identified will be helpful for STEM outreach providers, and will support efforts to improve gender diversity in engineering and technology. However, our review found there are some gaps in the current evidence, so it will be important that research and evaluation in this area continues to develop.”
The review is split into five main sections – including activities for primary school students, programmes designed specifically for girls, role models and mentors, links to higher education, and careers and summer camps.
Some of the key learnings highlighted include:
The need to start engaging girls with engineering and technology activities at a young age.
Including activities that ‘challenge gender stereotypes’ around engineering and technology.
A need to learn about the needs, interests, and preferences, of girls when designing outreach programmes.
‘Understanding the limitations of gender as a binary concept’.
How the use use of role models of a similar age ‘can help bridge the developmental gap between students and professionals’.
The report also showcases a range of engineering and technology careers. To download it, visit: https://tinyurl.com/yckupacx