What is MIND THE GAP doing?

With women currently making up almost half the labour market (46% of the workforce in the UK), Mind the GAP has recognised that by encouraging more girls into STEM subjects after compulsory education we can make a contribution to:

  1. Filling the STEM skills shortage by inspiring more girls to stay in school and gain STEM qualifications
  2. Combating high levels of early drop-out rates and youth unemployment by raising aspirations amongst young women
  3. Improving gender diversity in STEM by raising awareness of the current gap

Mind the GAP! will work over the next two years with both teachers in STEM subjects and girls aged 16-18 years old who are either currently studying STEM subjects, or who have dropped out or completed study but not entered STEM jobs.

Our aim is to:

  1. Helping teachers in each partner country to recruit and retain more girls onto their STEM courses
  2. Support and inspire girls to continue their STEM education and enter careers in the sector by helping them develop the soft skills they will need to work in a male-dominated environment.

Over the longer term we will also work to raise awareness amongst a wider target group of the importance of promoting STEM to young women and girls in schools and colleges across Europe.

To achieve this we will be developing the following key results:

– MIND THE GAP Gender Training Programme

A new training programme will be produced designed to support VET teachers to recruit and retain female students on their courses; providing teaching tools and inclusive methodologies for increasing teachers’ gender-awareness in STEM in their teaching approaches.

– Career Circles™: Girls in STEM

Based on a peer mentoring and action learning methodology developed by Inova (UK), GAP will develop Career Circles to support girls studying or recently finishing STEM subjects to help them develop the soft skills they need to develop their career plans, assess their goals and build the self-confidence they will need to work in a male-dominated field.

– Career Circles™: VET Teachers

Circles will also be developed for teachers to explore with peers the issues faced by women in STEM, understand how they can better support young students, reflect on their CPD and share teaching methods and tools.

– GAP Online Learning Hub

A Learning Hub will make the materials produced by GAP available freely to a wider audience of girls, teachers, policy makers and the community. It will also bring together a range of other Open Education Resources (OER) in a search-able catalogue which will help girls and teachers find useful training materials.

To improve awareness of the gender gap in STEM amongst policy makers and the wider public we will also be producing guidelines for policy makers and a media campaign. Watch this space for more information!