How can we encourage girls to get into STEM?

Jo Lane

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

With a shortage of engineers a real threat, encouraging girls to embrace STEM subjects and careers is more important than ever.


Research from the Royal Academy of Engineering identified the percentage of females in the current engineering workforce in the UK is only 6%.

Furthermore a recent survey by the Institute of Engineering & Technology revealed that 93% of parents would not support their daughter to pursue a career in engineering.

However, when asked what subjects they enjoy at school, 39% of girls said they enjoy STEM subjects.

So, how can we as teachers help?

We can help by addressing the stereotypes linked to Engineering. Careers in engineering are constantly developing and whilst there will always be a need for engineers to fill the traditional boiler-suited, machine fixing roles, the industry is now involved in solving some of the biggest challenges faced by society.

girl science

Renewable energy, advancing healthcare provision and space exploration are just a few examples. It is these types of careers where there is great potential and girls should be encouraged to pursue these career paths.

The link to these careers can be hi-lighted to pupils when teaching a wide range of topics - from Biology to Geography and IT to Physics.

If teachers can link different types of careers to the topics they are teaching, as well as raising awareness of these roles, one of the most vital questions pupils often think, but don’t always ask, “When will I ever need this once I’ve left school”, can be answered.

Check out the website below for some excellent examples: 



About our Community Expert

Head of Careers at The Windsor Boys' School

Combining her business experience with an ability to engage KS4&5 pupils in the classroom has enabled Jo to specialise in delivering learning experiences linked to the ‘real world’.

An advocate of apprenticeships as an alternative to the traditional university route, Jo states her greatest job satisfaction has come from helping pupils into apprenticeship roles and seeing them thrive. 

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