In March 2018 the Young Hackney hosted their annual Inspiring Young Women Careers Event . The event brings together 80 school girls (year 10) to meet 26 female professionals, where the professionals aimed to empower and inspire the younger women. Young hackney published an article about the event, https://www.younghackney.org/campaign/inspiring-young-women/. I was invited to volunteer as a professional, speaking to the young women as a physics graduate and now software engineer at Solirius.
The event started off with meeting the other professional women from a variety of inspiring fields: artists, entrepreneurs, directors, firefighters, athletes, pharmacists and doctors. We joined the young women to listen to 5 of the professional women, each of whom gave an incredible speech about their remarkable journey.
Breaking off into small groups, I was given the task of speaking to small groups of the young women, approximately 10 minutes with each group! Many of the young women were uncertain of their career choices, and also disinterested by their set school curriculum and upcoming exams. It was an opportunity to introduce them to options, guide them on their future education and get them thinking about their career paths. Currently the female undergraduate computer science population is 17% and only 9% for a-level study . With employment statistics from major technology companies mirroring these discrepancies, perhaps it is no surprise that there are few female role models in computing and information technology. It was therefore important to introduce the young women to a career they may not have considered before, specifically in STEM, as well as the idea of higher university education.
The event was truly great! I was inspired by the other professionals, and speaking to the young women challenged me reflect on my own career. Our knowledge of technology, as software engineers and scientists, empowers us to solve problems and create change; through this event these young women were introduced to the idea of a scientific and technologically driven career, which they may not have otherwise considered for themselves