We are very excited to launch the 2020 TECgirls Insights Report today on International Women’s Day. This is our pilot Annual Insights Report and it was created with the help of a Nuffield Research Student Amran Abdiqadir Mohamed, as well as a number of TECgirls volunteers.
Our goal with this report was to create a baseline of understanding around the current attitudes towards TEC from young girls and their parents. We also wanted to understand what type of TEC related activities were available both in school and at home.
While our research goals and scope was limited by COVID, we still found some extremely valuable insights that will shape the work we do over the next 12 months. We hope that we will also be able to provide some valuable feedback for other organisations such as local schools, Cornwall Council, the Employment Skills Board, and the Digital Skills Partnership.
Some of the most interesting findings include:
Cornwall is performing worse than the national average in regards to gender equality in computing GCSEs and A levels. This shows a real need for organisations like TECgirls and suggests that more could be done with schools and the council to support their efforts to tackle this issue.
Girls are interested in doing more engineering and robotics-based activities. They also show an interest in animation, making games, and other creative digital skills. Engineering is the TEC subject with the worst gender balance from education up to employment, so this is a key area to work on going forward. TECgirls plans to invest more time into activities that meet both the needs from industry and the interest from girls.
There is a lack of awareness around jobs and opportunities for parents and girls around TEC related jobs in Cornwall. More work needs to be done to introduce these roles and show women working in them.
While some of the TECgirls Annual Insights Report paints a stark picture for gender balance, it also highlights a lot of opportunities for improvements and growth, and we look forward to working with a range of different partners to try to create change and make a positive impact for girls across the county.
We also hope that some of our educational outreach activities will benefit both girls and boys inspiring everyone to think about TEC related careers. There is a huge growth in Cornwall around jobs within industries such as software development, engineering, robotics, aerospace and video game design. It is important that girls across Cornwall know there is a future in these areas and we are passionate about improving the gender balance in TEC related further education and careers.
For more information and insights please check out our report here. We hope it will prove useful as we all work together to inspire more girls to do amazing things within the technology, engineering and creative digital spaces.