Girls in North East to hear about Stem careers

Accenture, Stemettes and Schools NorthEast to hold event to encourage girls into Stem careers

Girls in north-east England are to be treated to a science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) event, after Accenture, Stemettes and Schools NorthEast joined forces.

The event, titled #NEDigitalGirls, will take place on Friday 16 January 2015 at the Sage Gateshead, aiming to inspire more females to consider careers in Stem.

More than 300 girls, aged between 11 and 13 and from 30 different schools in the North East, will learn about web development and how to build their own web pages. They will also gain insight into 3D printing, forensic science and technology dance through workshops run by ItIs3D, Pulse CSI and Flux Dance.

Google Glass will be offering demos along with virtual showroom technology from the ZeroLight team at Eutechnyx.

A survey conducted by Dynamo, an IT network in the North East, recently revealed there are 2,000 unfilled vacancies in the North East, despite 32,000 people working in the region's IT sector.

In addition, the North East was cited by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills as one of several regions that will have the highest shortage of Stem skills by 2020.

Accenture UK and Ireland managing director for technology Emma McGuigan said the firm is delighted to welcome girls from schools across the North East to the event.

“Accenture believes businesses need to collaborate with the education sector to tackle the technology skills gap," she said. 

"There is a shortage of women joining the technology sector, but if we can work together to ignite girls’ interest in technology from an early age, we can help to address this challenge and ensure the UK is equipped with the skills we need to compete in the digital economy.”

The day will include several presentations from women at Accenture, Women in Science and Engineering (Wise), Newcastle University, the Wellcome Trust and Schools NorthEast.

Videos from the likes of test driver for the Williams F1 team Susie Wolff; maths guru, TV presenter and pilot Carol Vorderman; Microsoft general manager for Central and Eastern Europe Trudy Norris-Grey; and TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding will also be broadcasted throughout the day. 

Newcastle Central MP and Labour Party shadow cabinet minister for digital government Chi Onwurah said she welcomed the "fantastic initiative" to bring together so many girls from the North East and exhibit what digital can mean to them.

“It is by seeing young girls and women succeeding in digital courses and careers that more young girls and women will be encouraged to take up these rewarding and economically critical careers,” she said.

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