Summer camp positive step in tackling gender gap in STEM - Archibald
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has welcomed the week-long summer camp 'Belfast IT girls' which aims to equip girls with technology skills.
The party's higher education spokesperson said:
"'Belfast IT girls' at Belfast Metropolitan College is an important initiative aimed at giving girls skills in technology, like coding and games development.
"There still remains a large disparity between genders across STEM careers, girls are less likely to progress through the various stages from GCSE, to A' Level to degree and higher.
“This is particularly evident in ICT and engineering careers, and at higher levels in all careers. Last year women represented only 18% of ICT professionals and 19% of ICT technical staff.
"It is important that we continue to strive to have better gender representation, ensuring girls are engaged at a young age and can see a career path, is part of that.
"Time and again we are told by business leaders that we have a shortage of skills in certain sectors like ICT.
“Tackling the gender gap is another means of addressing the skills shortage by engaging the 50% of the population more likely to opt out of certain careers.
"Along with initiatives like this, we also need to address the structural barriers which lead to less representation of women in STEM and women in the workforce in general."