5th meeting GirlsTech Newcastle, UK

5th meeting GirlsTech Newcastle, UK

February 19, 2018

GirlsTech project meeting

Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September 2017

Monday, September 25

Gateshead College, Baltic Campus, Quarryfield, Baltic Business District, Gateshead NE8 3BE

Introduction and overview of the British college sector (Catherine Sezen, College Association).

Women in STEM careers - employer and apprentice perspective. Chelsea Parker, Learning and Human Resources Consultant; Jessica Houghton, manufacturing and welding apprentice, Caterpillar Peterlee.

Dr. Mhairi Crawford, Director of Development, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Campaign.

Gateshead College, Approaching Girls in STEM Subjects, Katy Malia, Gateshead College.

The round table.

Introductory speech by Deputy Director Chris Toon, followed by a tour of the campus.

Tuesday, September 26

Employer Perspective: Geoff Ford, President and Alison Charlton, Ford Aerospace Limited and Ford Component Manufacturing Limited

STEM presentation of Derby College, Mayuri Krishnan, lecturer engineer, and Robin Webber-Jones, chief engineer, Derby College.

STEM presentation by Chichester College, Elaine Johnston, Deputy Head of Learning - STEM.

STEM presentation by the representative of Exeter College, Danni Potter, Faculty of Business, IT and A-Plus.

Presentation by Joanna Iceton, Head of the Competence Sector Trade Council, SEMTA.

Visit of the Ford Aerospace company.

At the Newcastle meeting, the Association of UK Colleges brought together several colleges, NGOs and company representatives to present the very different situation of the UK in terms of women's involvement in STEM. The tool that can be used more in Romania is the WISE project, as a campaign for gender balance in science, technology, engineering. The “People like me” campaign can be implemented in Romania to improve the orientation of girls in the field of STEM as well as to advise them towards a future career in this field.

We consider that the presentation was really useful and brought us new research in the field of validation of girls' interests; as unconscious bias; based on different background, cultural identity and professional settings. We will check the data of the questionnaire “People like me” and we will see if they can be adapted to the situation in Romania to help young girls understand “what kind of person am I?” So that later they can identify with female models that fit best. well with their selections, these models becoming mentors.

We can try to do this during the week of the EU Code and the MegaDojo event we are organizing in Timisoara at the beginning of October.

I also found Geoff Ford's presentation, Ford Aerospace, encouraging everyone to follow their dreams, saying that "any man or woman can work with us or even do my job." The story of Alison Charlton, Ford Aerospace, how she started as a retailer and then a chef, trained to be an aerospace quality control supervisor, thus becoming a valuable ambassador.

In order to be able to carry out a project similar to the one mentioned in the previous lines, we will have to validate the research and be sure that it can fit the Romanian setting. then we will have to better organize our activities as we do similar things and opt for informal activities.

Identify several ICT models who can share their stories (probably from our successful graduates, our students and our teachers).

The VET system - the College in the United Kingdom is not applicable in Romania, we do not have this type of education. We have professional technical colleagues of 14-19 years who are oriented towards practice, but, for our area, the subjects are more in the automotive industry.

Katy Malia's work in STEM and how Gateshead College supports it was very impressive.


  1. How to attract girls to STEM topics: we should start very early with gender-neutral activities. We should be repetitive in our interventions. Marketing should feature pictures of men and women. Parents have an important role to play. Role models are important.
  2. Retention and detention of women in STEM areas. Girls should study mathematics but also promote engineering. Remember the picture of the pipe that was presented in math lessons. We should give girls the confidence that they will succeed, that they can do it. More girls will attract more girls.
  3. Keeping women in the workforce. Women should not feel trapped in their careers. The management team should be partly female.
  4. Practical considerations: overalls and gloves too big (not sexy). There are no smaller protective shoes, the cars are too big, etc.


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