In June 2021, Expleo UK started a partnership with Camden School for Girls, providing insights into women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers as part of a larger careers initiative for the school. Danielle Gower, Recruitment Manager at Expleo gives her views on the importance of initiatives like this to encourage girls from a young age to explore careers in STEM.
Although it’s generally felt that attitudes to women in STEM are changing, there is still a lot of work to be done to encourage more women along these career paths. Today, technology is constantly building up the world around us, and we want to make sure women are part of the story, making the change.
I believe it’s important that these options are made visible from a young age, and girls are aware of the endless opportunities they might have in a future STEM career.
How have we been supporting Camden School for Girls?
Earlier this year, we connected with Camden School for Girls, a comprehensive secondary school for girls based in North London, to support an ongoing careers initiative they had been driving. The school had been actively promoting STEM pathways to students and wanted to bring these careers to life with real-world examples of people who had lived these journeys.
We provided them with a series of videos, filmed by our employees, giving insights and advice to students looking to explore a career in technology. Alongside this, we also took part in a series of fully interactive, live, virtual Q&A sessions with students. These explored everything from our dream jobs as children to the very best thing we had achieved in our careers.
This was an opportunity to show the students who we are and what we do; helping to remove the stigma that technology isn’t for women. They were exposed to a variety of roles and backgrounds, to show the huge range of pathways that could be taken to achieve a career in technology – that didn’t necessarily have to be technical!
Why are initiatives like this important?
At 15 or 16 years old, it’s difficult to know what career path you want to go down – the possibilities seem endless. But for many women in our industry, we didn’t even realise our careers or companies existed at that age! So, it’s important to have visibility of your options, particularly at this critical age where you are starting to make choices for your future.
On the other hand, it’s important to emphasise that even though you might start pursuing one career path, nothing is set in stone. You should feel free to keep exploring your options until you find something you’re passionate about – whether this is at the age of 15 or 50. At Expleo, our Head of Business Solutions achieved a degree in art, before entering the technology industry – and she never looked back!
What advice would you give to your 15-year old self?
As a mother of a teenage girl, this is a topic I tend to think about regularly. From a careers perspective, my advice would be to do everything that you can to build your own experience early on; whether it’s extra-curricular activities, certifications, work experience or volunteering. It helps you get to know yourself better in different environments – and could be a deciding factor in being hired.
From a more personal perspective, as a girl looking to enter this industry, I would say “go for it!” There are more and more women standing at the forefront of tech events, companies and initiatives; we are increasing the female footprint in the industry and you can be part of that acceleration and change. Although you might sometimes face challenges on the way, go into everything with your eyes wide open, and always remember that you have the right to be exactly where you are.
We have a variety of career opportunities available at Expleo, both in technical and support roles. Please take a look at our careers page for more information.