The need for more women in technology industries is great all over the world – both to increase diversity and to meet the demand for skilled employees. At the same time, technology courses and companies that focus on engineering are dominated by men.
New survey: every second young woman lacks role models
In a survey conducted in Sweden (Inizio/Semcon), seven out of ten young women indicated that role models are important when choosing their future course of study and career. Every second respondent who plans to study technology says that she currently lacks female role models.
Many young people do not realise what a big impact you can have on society as an engineer. Today, most of the technology around us is developed by men. We want more women to see themselves as engineers, which is why we have developed a new search function.
The browser extension that makes image searches more gender balanced
Images are important to our perception of what we can become and the Internet is the starting place for many young people. In a move to show more role models, Semcon has developed Re-Search, a browser extension that provides a more balanced picture of the different professions. When you perform a search for a profession such as “engineer” with Re-Search, a parallel search is automatically conducted where images of women that would otherwise end up far down the page are highlighted and presented in a new window.
Inspiration with mentoring programs for high schools
Without other people who show the way, Semcon believes that it is difficult to seriously balance the proportion of men and women engineers. Therefore the company is now starting a mentoring programme that will initially encompass 30 high schools around Sweden. The programme includes lectures and targeted mentoring of female engineers at Semcon and mentees in classes. The goal is to answer questions and support the students’ ambition to move forward in a technical education.