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Stemettes has launched a short documentary about its Outbox Incubator programme, which was held in 2015.
The social enterprise’s film, entitled Eat. Sleep. Stem. Repeat, covers a six-week period that girls spent at the London Outbox house, and shows others in the technology industry the benefit of encouraging girls into science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem).
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The programme, supported by Salesforce, helped 115 girls to design and develop their own applications and ran seminars with technology experts to help the girls better understand possible technology careers.
But CEO and head Stemette Anne-Marie Imafidon said more people should be driving forward Stem initiatives without worrying about sponsorship or funding.
“For us at Stemettes, the big message to take away is that we had a crazy idea and we acted on it,” she said. “You don't necessarily need a lot of money or someone like Salesforce behind you to do something.”
Imafidon said the documentary was a “call to action” and challenged others in the industry, as well as the production companies she is in talks with, to “change wider social norms”.
The documentary followed the group of girls as they progressed through the incubator programme, learning to code, developing applications and presenting their ideas to industry experts.
In Stemettes’ 2015 Outbox Incubator, 45 girls aged between 11 and 22 spent six weeks at a house in London. They were mentored by other women in the industry and encouraged to set up their own technology-driven businesses in the hope that more girls will pursue Stem careers in the future.
But Imafidon admitted the organisation would not be able to run the incubator again on the same scale and format. “To keep going, we need industry and partnerships, we need more people to get behind us,” she said.
A lack of role models is often cited as one of the main reasons girls choose not to go into the tech industry, and Imafidon is often quoted as saying: “You can’t be what you can’t see.”
After the Outbox Incubator had ended, Stemettes launched its OtotheB application to give girls a platform through which to gain access to role models, activities and events in the technology industry.
In a blog post describing the Eat.Sleep.Stem.Repeat launch, Imafidon said Stemettes had always offered young girls access to “women in industry”, giving them a chance to experience the tech industry first-hand.
“We are looking forward to the next chapter of this new journey,” she said.
The Outbox Incubator documentary is available for screenings at schools and workplaces to encourage more conversation around the stereotypes in the Stem industries and how to change them.