Local initiatives - SSEP
Since 2016, we have been involved with the SSEP initiative. We visit local secondary schools, giving students a look into the world of technology and what we can do to get them excited about the possibilities in STEM careers. We present inspiring role models within the technology industry to students, some of which attended the same schools they visit.
Female staff make an effort to get involved in these events in order to encourage more open conversations with girls and offer insights into STEM careers that they may not be aware of or believe they're unsuited for. Giving the students some practical, fun and hands on experience with STEM subjects gets them excited about the possibilities they weren’t previously aware of within the industry.
We survey students before and after talking with them so we can measure results and adjust our content. Recently we visited a Y10 math class at a local girls' school. Afterwards, they showed more interest in the technology industry and math overall, realising how important the subject is across all industries and careers but also for real world problems.
European STEM research and Power BI
We've also worked with the Microsoft Philanthropies & EU Policy Communications team, using Power BI to disseminate regional results from a study of 11,500 girls across 12 European countries.
The visualisations and charts we built can be filtered by region for more in-depth and/or relatable analysis, highlighting the age that girls start to lose interest in STEM; top factors that influence STEM interest in girls and the comparative interest in STEM and humanities.
This groundbreaking research Enlighten worked on with Microsoft revealed that most girls’ positive views on STEM can change within just a few years. Girls cited that a lack of female role-models was a key reason they didn’t follow a career in STEM. They also said there’s not enough hands on experience with STEM subjects.
The impact parents and teachers can have on the interest girls show for STEM subjects was also found to be quite significant.
From the results of the STEM research Enlighten and Microsoft did in Europe, Microsoft released a new national skills program to boost digital skills. They wanted to show girls that technology careers can be creative and fulfilling and aim to dispel stereotypes associated with the tech industry. They also became more involved with www.modernmuse.org, a website that gives girls access to professional women from all industries, including their very own Microsoft muses.
Microsoft - attracting more women into tech
We believe diversity in the workplace equals greater success financially – men and women see things from different perspectives and bring unique ideas to the table, leading to better problem-solving, which boosts performance.