Not early enough
In my view, these types of educational opportunities don’t start early enough. Some experts in Australia have called for special education for children as young as kindergarten age.
How are we meant to encourage youngsters to be innovative and learn these types of skills if we only offer electives later in high school?
Sadly more often than not teenage girls don’t feel welcome in STEM classrooms. It’s simply too late or not ‘cool’ enough by then.
The sector has a huge incentive to get these programs right. According to Neustar president and CEO Lisa Hook, getting more girls into STEM is vital for the health of the industry and even the broader economy.
In the US the surging demand for skilled technology workers will leave the country without enough graduates to fill even 30 per cent of those jobs.
In Australia, the government’s chief scientist says 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations in the world society now require STEM skills and knowledge.
The numbers speak for themselves.
As a sector, we need to start getting kids in STEM early and we need to make it fun. We need to invite young people like university students and others kids can relate to, to encourage children to be involved. Companies like ANZ have a responsibility – and strong corporate incentive - to help.
When we run speaker events and panel discussions, why aren’t we encouraging more young people to get involved and speak up?
I’m personally on a mission to start introducing young people at our ANZ events – we can learn just as much from them as they can us.
Finally, companies like ANZ need to continue to build partnership ecosystem with initiatives like Robogals to ensure the best results. We cannot solve these problems alone.
Carina Parisella is Business Enablement Manager in Technology, Services and Operations at ANZ. Twitter: @CarinaParisella