British Science Week (8-17th March 2019) and International Women’s Day (8th March 2019) are two events not to be missed. For those in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) industries, you’ll have seen a lot of media attention centred on #BalanceforBetter. This year’s International Women’s Day celebrated the achievements of women from around the world and raised awareness of the work still needed to reach a state of egalitarianism.
This year, the media covered the successful movements and some not so fruitful stunts, but none beat my long-held favourite creation to celebrate women in STEM – Little Miss Inventor. In March 2018, she joined the likes of the infamous Little Miss Sunshine to shine her light on a role that is equally as fit for a woman. The 36th Little Miss Character is intelligent, ingenious, and inventive and serves as a positive role model for generations to come.
Turning ideas into extraordinary inventions, to help her Mr Men and Little Miss friends, the launch of this character celebrated the two key events in the calendar for those of us ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ and moving into previously male dominated industries, such as science and technology. So to mark a year of a more inclusive Little Miss line up, we at TeamGinger reflect on our industry, considering how we can support women in STEM throughout the next year and into the future.
While the number of women in STEM careers remains relatively low – with only 23% of the UK’s STEM workforce being made up of women – figures are rising year-on-year. More women are pursuing careers as scientists, inventors, engineers, designers and technological innovators, as demonstrated by Little Miss Inventor.
However, for women to truly challenge stereotypes and forge successful careers in our industry, we need to ensure they have the tools to help them succeed. There has been a lot of positive movement in the fight for equality, with campaigns working to close the gender pay gap, companies setting up groups to support women’s development in male dominated industries, campaigns promoting women’s voices, and increasing calls for equal representation across media and events. But there is more to be done.
STEM employers have found it notoriously hard to attract, train, and retain female talent. Educators and business leaders tout fear as the defining factor, keeping young girls from pursuing careers in the subjects. While a recent study found problems with child care to pose a significant challenge in retaining the women that have chosen to work in the industry. The research found that over the eight-year period following the birth of their first child, 43% of women would leave their full-time position. This figure is however becoming less dissimilar for fathers, with almost a quarter (23%) of men leaving their full-time STEM jobs in the same period, thanks to more modern approaches to parenting.
STEM Supporting Families
With 65% of GingerMay’s leadership team being working mothers, our company culture believes in ‘finding the balance’ between work and home life. We have secured one of the lowest staff churn rates in the industry by offering:
- Real flexibility: Truly adaptable working hours that suit the needs of each and every staff member, whether they’re working parents or not
- Attainable workflow: By investing in larger than average client-facing teams – with a minimum of three members of staff per account – we reduce excessive working hours and allow parents to leave the office on time to spend quality time with their families
- Perfect perks: From monthly company-funded socials to an extra day of annual leave for birthdays, we encourage our team to maintain a healthy work-life balance
The Mr Men and Little Miss books have been revising and reimaging themselves for almost 30 years, but with more role models like Little Miss Inventor and more parents pursuing their careers in STEM, the future looks bright for balanced opportunities – in education, career opportunities, and pay.
By Sarah Redman, Account Manager