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Recruitment firm Monster has partnered with Stemettes to run its third Monster Confidence event aimed at helping young women gain the skills and confidence to apply for roles in the technology industry.
Monster and the social enterprise have collaborated to offer girls between the ages of 15 and 21 workshops on presenting and interviewing skills, access to role models, and networking with people already in the tech industry.
By showcasing notable women in the industry, such as Martha Lane Fox, the event aims to give the girls accessible role models that might encourage them into the science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) industry.
Sinead Bunting, vice-president of marketing in Europe at Monster.co.uk and co-founder and director of Tech Talent Charter, said: “The tech industry is yet to make the leaps in gender diversity that we have seen in some other sectors. The impact this can have on young women’s confidence that Stem is for them should not be underestimated.”
Teachers, parents and children alike can often feel that the Stem industry is “not for girls”, with more than half of teachers admitting to gender stereotyping tech subjects, which does not fill girls with confidence.
Many believe women are more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome – not applying for roles where they do not match all the listed criteria – and in a survey, 70% of women said they do not feel confident in the workplace.
To encourage them towards a Stem career, the Monster Confidence event will offer the thousands of young women who attend professional headshots, as well as a look into the types of career and roles available in the industry, mock interviews to help prepare them to apply for jobs, and speed mentoring.
Read more about Stem
Although firms need staff with technical skills, many young people are not learning the soft skills at school that the industry needs, such as how to apply and interview for jobs, as well as communication and teamworking skills.
A survey carried out by Research Monster in the lead-up to the event found that 45% of employees believe there is a lack of women in jobs that require digital or technical skills.
Only 11% of women said they had studied a technology-focused degree at university, and firms are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit tech talent – only 3% said they find it easy.
Industry experts have suggested that working to close the diversity gap in the technology industry could also help to close the sector’s skills gap, because it would widen the pool of people available to fill these roles.
Several other Monster Confidence events will take place in cities across the UK to ensure the event is not confined to the London bubble, and all events are free to attend.