Smartphones are an integral part of our everyday life and an estimated 1.5 billion people around the world use them, feasting on a plethora of applications nestled in the many app stores and market places of the internet. These apps transform the smartphone into a tool, a Swiss army knife of knowledge, aid, and guidance. All with the swipe and tap of a finger.
The people that make up this “tech” industry have been predominantly male for many years, but we’re finally seeing more women develop applications for hungry smartphone users. Through initiatives such as Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, as well as my own Berlin Geekettes organisation, more women are becoming interested in the zeros and ones and that’s great news for other females around the world. Here’s why.
What is Inspiring the Future?
Inspiring the Future is a free service that asks volunteers to pledge an hour a year to go into a state school or college to speak to young people about their job, career and the educational route that they took. Whether you’re an apprentice, recent graduate or a CEO, you can make a real impact to young people’s lives and the different career options that are open to them.
We are running a women’s campaign to help schools invite in inspiring women to talk to pupils about their career pathways and help to raise aspirations.
There are a number of things that you can choose to do, such as:
- Speed networking, where you sit with a small group of young people for an informal Q&A
- Give advice to young people on how to write a CV or go through an interview process
- Do a short talk to a group of young people in a class or in an assembly
- Give a workshop about your job/profession in a subject lesson
- Set up a stall so that young people can speak to you at a careers fair
- Read with a pupil for an hour, or play number games to support their maths
Some of these involve talking to lots of young people and some can be in a one-to-one or a small group. It is up to you the kind of activities that you do and you can choose which ones you accept. You can decline any activity you cannot make or if you are unsure it will suit you.
What are the benefits for volunteers?
- This is a time-light commitment; you are offering only one hour of your time in your local area (where you live or work) – there is no commitment to accept any invitation; you accept the ones that suit you
- It’s simple to sign up in two steps (sign up, complete your profile and then wait for invitations) – and it’s free for everyone concerned
- You can choose the way you would like to engage with schools and colleges. You can check boxes to say you want to do different activities – for example, CV workshops or mock interviews, or reading with a primary school pupil.
- You are helping young people to make informed, realistic choices about jobs and professions, developing the talent pool and supporting skills for the future. Research shows that the more young people engage with professionals at school, the less likely they are to be unemployed.
- In the review of our first year, volunteers said they felt that they developed skills as part of their volunteering – and over 90% would recommend the experience to a colleague
- You can commit as much or as little time as you like – some of our volunteers love volunteering and do it regularly, but you are in complete control
- Schools and colleges are able to choose from a pool of thousands of volunteers who offer an hour a year in their local area so they can choose the right volunteers for their pupils; you know your specific skills are needed because the invitation comes directly from a teacher
For further details and to sign up, click here.
Are female action heroes good role models?
The Guardian asks if female action heroes are good role models for our young women.
Brilliant editorial from the NY Times on women in STEM.
Miriam González Durántez is named Woman of the Year 2013
Miriam González Durántez is named Woman of the Year 2013 – and here she talks about her work with Inspiring Women.
Interesting article from The Telegraph.
“The reason I think many girls are put off studying maths and physics is simply because they’re not inspired enough. In my school, which I left last year, these subjects were largely male-dominated and many of us girls found it hard to relate.”