People Like Me
Girls in Electronics are ‘People Like Me’
The UKESF collaborated with the WISE Campaign and five companies to produce an Electronics-specific version of the revolutionary People Like Me (PLM) resource pack for schools. Electronics was the first sector to have its own specialised pack.
The resource pack aims to encourage girls aged 11–14 to take a greater interest in STEM at school and to consider the related career options. It uses a self-descriptive quiz to help girls discover their strengths and find out about women similar to them who are happy and successful working in careers in STEM. It is intended for an all-female setting, where girls will feel comfortable discussing themselves, their subject choices and career aspirations.
Training to deliver sessions in schools
A number of representatives from the companies involved have been trained to facilitate PLM sessions with groups of girls from local secondary schools. The training included an overview of unconscious bias and how to bypass the brain’s natural processing shortcuts, as well as how to present the resource pack to girls, taking them through the quiz and encouraging discussion of the different personality types and career options STEM subjects can lead to.
Creation of the PLM resource pack
The original pack was informed by research which indicates that girls tend to favour collaborative activities over competitive ones and that they generally think about the future more frequently and at an earlier age than boys. It is for this reason that Physics has such poor numbers where female students are concerned – it is wrongly perceived as a subject that leads to limited career options.
The pack also utilises the tendency of girls to self-articulate with adjectives; rather than verbs, which are broadly preferred by boys and are frequently the language of STEM employment vacancies. This fresh approach offers girls useful insight and encourages thinking and discussion around careers in STEM – and in this instance, Electronics in particular.