It’s International Women’s Day today, so a good time to post something on achieving gender balance, which I think starts with instilling gender balance during the formative years in education and in the homes that children are growing up in during that time (for example, why do women still do more housework, even when they are working the same hours as their partner? Read, for example, https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/feb/17/dirty-secret-why-housework-gender-gap)
On the subject of education, whilst doing some research on the lack of gender balance in engineering (in the UK at least) I came across this article, which was really inspiring- a set of high school girls in the USA with no engineering experience working together to develop a product they felt passionate about. How I wish I’d had something like this to be part of when I was at school. A really inspiring way to engage girls in science and technology, whilst giving them a chance to develop skills they will need in their working lives
Education and leading by example - that’s how I think we’ll achieve true gender balance - I hope!
The girls were seeing this problem develop firsthand and when their school group ‘DIY Girls’ were chosen to receive a $10,000 grant from MIT to solve real-world problems through invention, there was only one thing they wanted to work on. And now, the girls, who had no previous engineering experience, have successfully created a prototype for a portable, solar-powered tent that folds away into a rollaway backpack. Prior to starting the project, the girls were mostly all strangers, and none of them had ever coded, soldered, sewn or used a 3D-printer. But with the help of YouTube, Google (and lots of trial and error), they persisted.