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People Like Me - for parents and carers

An introduction for parents and carers

Welcome to People Like Me – a revolutionary approach to help girls see themselves working happily and successfully in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM).People Like Me uses girls’ natural tendency to create and articulate their self-identity with adjectives to show them where their personality traits could take them within the STEM sectors.

People Like Me is designed to be delivered by teachers and STEM Ambassadors. The resource includes materials that can show girls from all walks of life that, if they continue with at least one STEM subject post-16, they are likely to have better prospects and more career choice.

The pack contains a quiz to show girls where people just like them are happy and successful in their work, which can also be downloaded as a free app from the Apple App store.

To learn more about how People Like Me was developed and the research it was based on, visit our ‘About People Like Me’ page.

What’s the problem?

It’s a myth that girls aren’t choosing STEM subjects - in fact girls outnumber boys in STEM subject choices overall. However, there is a lack of girls choosing to continue with physics and maths post-16, despite the fact that girls have higher attainment in these subjects than boys. This means that girls are losing or rejecting the opportunity to choose engineering post 18, as well as making it harder to find jobs in technology and other STEM sectors.

Why should your daughter consider STEM?

STEM sectors are currently experiencing a severe skills shortage, with an estimated shortfall of 69,000 qualified people each year. This shortage means that there is a large demand for individuals with STEM skills and great career prospects. All parents want to see their daughters happy and successful, by exploring careers within the STEM sector, People Like Me can help open you and your daughter’s eyes to all of the wonderful and varied opportunities available to them if they stick with at least one STEM subject post-16.

What could she study?

Maths, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, geophysics, geochemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacy, genetics, bioinformatics, computer science, acoustics, electronics, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, cybernetics/robotics, astronomy, civil engineering, construction management, mechanical engineering, materials science, plant science, food biosciences, soil science, zoology, marine biology, meteorology, satellite technology, production management, land management, product design… the opportunities are endless!

If your daughter wants to study many of these at a high level, she will need to also continue with maths after GCSE.

After GCSE, however, your daughter doesn’t have to choose a standard school subject – many students are not aware of the huge choices. Apprenticeships are a good option if you want to earn while you learn.

What could she earn?

A London Economics’ study found that, when compared to individuals with only GCSEs, possessing at least one STEM A level will boost women’s earnings by 29.4%, whilst possessing two or more STEM A levels increases this to 33.1%.

EngineeringUK’s 2016 report found that STEM graduates are likely to earn significantly more over their lifetime than non-STEM graduates. For men their lifetime earnings can increase by £168,000 and for women this figure rises to £252,000 across a lifetime.

The same report found that individuals completing a level 3 apprenticeship in engineering and manufacturing technologies can earn an additional £111,900 over their working life.


Average annual salary for graduates by subject (2013)

What jobs could she do?

The UK workforce consists of almost 30 million people, 20% of the workforce are employed in science roles.

Biggest areas now:

  • Product design and development: 54% of workforce is science qualified
  • Education: 46% of workforce is science qualified
  • Digital media: 45% of workforce is science qualified
  • Health: 30% of workforce is science qualified
  • Consultancy: 25% of workforce is science qualified

The areas that are predicted to be major growth areas until 2030 are:

  • Low carbon economy: sustainable energy business
  • Life sciences: health, pharmacy, disease prevention
  • Digital media: writing, design, games
  • Professional, financial and other services
  • Advanced manufacturing: managing businesses
  • Built environment: designing low energy buildings
  • Food: improving safety, nutrition and supply

By 2030, these areas are predicted to employ 7.1 million people.

Other sectors she could work in:

Energy, Town planning, Environment, Weather & climate, Transport, Communications, Materials, Medical, Health, Media, Food, Beauty, Creative industries, Finance, Law, Translating, Communications, Consultancy, Entrepreneurial!

How to get into a STEM career?

There are a number of different options if your daughter wants to pursue a career in STEM, including higher education and apprenticeships. To find out more attend one of our Create Your Future events or check out the Inspire course run by 2012 WISE Awards winners EDT – Engineering Development Trust.

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