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The most successful strategies for attracting women and girls into STEM apprenticeships have been long term. Building strong relationships with schools, colleges, training providers and other groups can take a long time – plan for up to ten years or more. It takes a long time to get the interest of women and girls, to nurture that interest and develop that into them making a choice to pursue a STEM apprenticeship.

  • Targeting evening activities in schools is sometimes easier and more effective – WISE members say that it is sometimes hard for schools to allocate enough time during the school day. Evening activities like parents evenings or careers events have the advantage of an already-present audience of girls to speak to about apprenticeship opportunities.

  • Look to girls-only organisations and activities such as Brownies/Girl Guides and invite them to take part in events and tasks. A full list of local contacts is available for girl guiding that should help you get in touch with local groups.
  • Taster and activity days for women and girls in colleges and businesses are a first step for getting a lot of women and girls into STEM. Women-only or girl-only taster days or career events that you host yourself encourage girls and women to have a go at activities they may not have tried before in a supportive environment.
    • Make sure the day is pitched at the appropriate level for your audience and organise a variety of events and tasks, including a practical exercise (even if it only lasts two minutes) – make the day fun and memorable.
    • Consider including parents (especially mums) in your taster day activities. Parents are a key influencer in girls’ career choices – in Bradford, InCommunities – a social housing provider with a property maintenance business - has done intensive work speaking directly with parents to engage girls from minority backgrounds on the benefits of an apprenticeship, overcoming cultural pressures and increasing their intake of girls from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
    • Record the details of the women and girls who visit your taster day so you can target them again in the future with other opportunities – make sure to get parental consent, using this form.
    • Have material ready that outlines the benefits of STEM careers, including salary and career options.
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