Breaking down career stereotypes for girls

Breaking down career stereotypes for girls

This International Women's Day Lindsay Law invited 120 primary school girls to the RBS Entrepreneurial Centre and Open Experience in Edinburgh, giving them a unique opportunity to step into the heart of a technology and business operation.

Blog Author Image
Lindsay Law
Senior manager, Strategic Programme Assurance

09 March 2017


Lindsay talks about why she ran the event and the value it brings.

A couple of years ago I attended an IBM Women in Technology conference and heard about a growing skills shortage in IT, particularly in Scotland, which means there are many more jobs than people to fill them.

Only 17.4% of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) graduates are women, and of that group only 51% actually go on to work in STEM roles. And in business ownership it's even more stark: only 11% of STEM business owners are women. 

I was speaking to local schools about the threat of stereotyping and the research told me that many girls have a fixed mindset, believing that STEM subjects and careers are not for them, even before they get to secondary school. The statistics showed that interventions after this point might be too late.

The idea behind the event on International Women's Day was to show girls that being the technology creators of the future is desirable, relatable, fun, and absolutely achievable, and also to start breaking down stereotypes that teachers and parents might hold about girls and technology. 

Their energy, interest and enthusiasm was palpable. We held a Q&A with women business owners based at the Entrepreneurial Spark Hub. This helped the girls understand the process from creative idea, to planning, to launching a successful business. 

We also worked with universities; engineering and technology organisations to create workshops and mini-challenges to grab the girls' interest and give them fun activities do to on the day.

Posted In


Related articles

Female entrepreneurs contribute £3.51billion to the UK economy

Women-led businesses contributed £3.51bn to the UK economy and created 77,000 jobs in 2015, according to a new study by Royal Bank of Scotland.

Gogarburn Entrepreneurial Centre and Open Experience launch this week

RBS CEO Ross McEwan shares his thoughts on how this launch represents an important step forward for the bank.

Latest news

Royal Bank of Scotland hosts ‘Easy Wins Live’ event

The event explored today’s ‘always on’ world and the pressure Scots face as they struggle to balance life inside and outside of work.

To win the fight against fraud and scams, it is vital to educate young people.

Primary school children in Currie, Edinburgh put on their detective hats last week to learn more about fraud and scams thanks to the Royal Bank of Scotland MoneySense programme. Les Matheson, CEO of Personal Banking, tells us why it’s so important to financially educate young people.

New NatWest debit cards now accessible for all customers

New card features are being rolled out from today with all cards having a notch and raised dots.

Set Tab for lightbox