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Girl Geeks launches its first UK campus programme to bridge ‘STEM’ skills gender gap


Girl Geeks has announced that Accenture is the first employer to support Girl Geeks Campus, a new national programme to support female students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers.

Girl Geeks Campus has been launched initially at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities and offers female STEM students opportunities to discover career paths and develop employability skills. Accenture is one of the programme’s leading employers who will provide participating students with mentoring and career guidance as well as opportunities to develop professional skills and meet industry role models.

Bob Paton, managing director, Newcastle Delivery Centre at Accenture said: “This is a vital initiative to encourage more women to pursue STEM careers, both in the North East and across the UK. Businesses – particularly those like Accenture, where we recruit STEM graduates – need to collaborate with the education sector to engage more females who are about to embark on their career paths. This exciting programme will increase access to career opportunities for female STEM students and ultimately help them to fulfil their potential.” 

Professor Aad van Moorsel, Head of the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University said: “Newcastle University is strongly committed to attract women to computer science and other STEM subjects. Computing impacts the quality of our lives more than ever. It’s instrumental in many professional activities as well as our leisure activities, and it impacts health care, local activism, entrepreneurship and so on.  

"To exploit all these opportunities to the fullest, we want to attract women from all ages to study computer science and pursue computing careers. Our strong relations with local industry help us with our mission, and we are delighted to team up with Girl Geeks and Accenture to bridge the skills gender gap.”  

Dr Rebecca Strachan, Associate Dean Business and Engagement within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University said: “I am delighted that Northumbria University is part of the Girl Geeks initiative to support our female students and encourage more women to pursue careers in technology, science and engineering.

"These areas will be core to the future economy, culture and wellbeing of our society and it is important we encourage a good gender balance to enter these professions. Girl Geeks is part of the university’s wider commitment to be a beacon for STEM engagement working with partners to inspire the next generation of technologists, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians.”

Mia Chapman, Director, Girl Geeks Limited said: “I am incredibly proud to be working with Accenture, Newcastle University and Northumbria University to have the opportunity to prove the Girl Geeks Campus concept in supporting students and looking forward to the positive impact it will bring to the talent pipeline.

"Promoting diversity in STEM is vital, through extensive research and consultation undertaken; Girl Geeks Campus has been developed as a concept to increase the role of technical females in education and subsequently industry. Our collaboration with academia and industry employers is the next progression for us to support the development of women and the skills needed to have a rewarding career in STEM.” 

published on: 6 March 2015