Call to support campaign to inspire one million BAME girls to Stem fields
- Credit: Ken Mears
An educator has called for investment in a campaign to inspire black and minority ethnic (BAME) girls into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) careers.
Office for National Statistics data shows women now make up a record 20 per cent of the specialist IT workforce and there has been a slight rise in black women in computing roles (to 0.7pc).
However, black women are still greatly under-represented in the field.
Academy Achievers, which provides Stem related activities for disadvantaged and marginalised young people in Newham, has launched the #BeMe campaign to help achieve gender equality and empower black women in technology.
It aims to inspire one million BAME girls to engage in Stem fields.
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Academy Achievers founder and chief executive Paulette Watson said: “Unfortunately, we live in a society of stereotypes and an unfair system that are holding BAME girls back.
“We want to create a pipeline of Stem opportunities for these girls, helping the ecosystem become more inclusive and supportive of underrepresented groups and communities, by being ambassadors in the spaces and helping others come into it fully.”
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The #BeMe project is asking for £16,750 worth of start-up capital as an initial investment to help secure a strategic marketing campaign.
The funds will also help to set up a podcast where girls can create content, present and invite female black leaders in tech to talk about their career journeys.
An online mentoring platform will also be created to speak to black girls and equip them for the world of work, connecting them with a network of Stem industry professionals.
Academy Achievers says all three elements of the initial campaign will help to address key issues such as AI bias, participation in Stem subjects and counteract oppressive algorithms.
“Without a stronger global commitment to diversity and inclusion, companies will continue to miss out on - or lose - talent that could bolster their business performance, and ultimately, their profit margins,” Ms Watson said.
“Until now, there hasn't been a strong enough drive to change this.”
Visit https://chuffed.org/project/beme for more information and to donate.