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How to encourage women to apply for apprenticeships in STEM

If you want to attract women into STEM careers, the words you use are important. When an engineering company advertised a higher apprenticeship – which included a paid-for degree at a good university – not a single woman applied. When the company spelled out that it also operated in the environmentally friendly renewable energy sector, the interest level among women applicants piqued.

If companies change job descriptions – from technician to “customer service technician” or from plain engineer to “design engineer”, more women apply. “It sounds simplistic but women see themselves as creative or as ‘people’ people,” says Helen Wollaston, chief executive of WISE, which campaigns for gender balance in science, technology and engineering. They’re put off – research backs this up – by male-sounding job descriptions. “They want to see values that resonate with them,” says John Laverty, head of education at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). see more from the Telegraph story here

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