In STEM, only 25% of UK graduates are female. Only 21% of those employed in STEM are girls.
I am not saying 'we need more women and girls in STEM', what we need is more diversity of thought and the pooling of our best creative and scientific ideas to find the best solution.
Science and technology is a very social world that you have to get involved in. It is about solving the problems of the future. It is highly collaborative, digital, high-tech, and there is no reason why girls cannot do the same. Some really inspiring women already do. These are the messages we need to get across. We need to change the way we talk about ourselves and the girls in STEM.
All too often we see boys and girls being sent on different paths. Our children must have the opportunity to explore themselves. Part of the problem in the UK, for example, is that we are forcing children to specialize so early in their education that they do not have time to explore their own interests and so we are closing off their opportunities. Experimentation is not part of the educational concept.
It is often fathers who say they changed their minds when they had daughters and saw how intelligent girls can be switched off from certain subjects at an early age.
It’s crucial to enhance that with an effective system of flexibility and diversity. It is crucial to improve diversity through an effective system of flexibility and diversity of equal opportunities for boys and girls.
Another important element is to get the parents on board. The first education begins in the families. The parents must be given access to media-effective education.
If we can't manage these changes, the girls will have a big disadvantage. Automation and AI adoption will bring occupational and skill shifts. Concerted and creative new solutions are needed to enable women to seize new opportunities in the age of automation; without them, women could fall further behind in the world of work.
Girls and Women will need to be skilled, mobile, and tech-savvy to adapt to the new world of education and work.
Today it is up to us to address the current concern that women are not acquiring the skills needed for high-growth areas such as professional, scientific and technical services. Today we can change that and give girls the chance to have equal access to the labor market in 2030.
That is why the most important step today is to educate and train parents so that they can recognize their children's potential and talents so that they can support their children regardless of gender and prepare them for 2030.