In today's tech-centric world, STEM (which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math) skills are in demand like never before. And given the persistent gender gap in STEM fields, relatable role models for girls in particular are key to inspiring a diverse tech workforce in the future.
Here at M&S, technology is at the forefront of our transformation which is why we know it is crucial to inspire the next generation about the exciting career opportunities in these areas – and that these jobs are definitely not just for boys.
With this in mind, M&S colleagues Sharon, Head of Technology Solutions, and Beata, Technology Solutions Lead decided to organise a ‘Bring your kids to work day’ at the M&S Tech Hub at Stockley Park – giving colleague's children the chance to come into the office, enjoy fun STEM activities and get the opportunity to ask ‘So, what do you do?’.
Inspiring the next generation
“When I started looking at the gender balance in tech roles it really struck a chord in me, especially because I have a son and a daughter both of whom are at such influential ages,” says Sharon.
“I spoke to my colleagues and everyone was really on board to give kids the opportunity to explore the workplace and ask questions about what their parents do all day.”
With the help of Microsoft Educate, boys and girls who came along to M&S Stockley Park Tech hub were treated to fun Minecraft coding sessions and a number of interactive workshops and talks. Kids were also part of our team weekly huddle where they learnt about how the business had been performing over the last week, including trading figures and new product releases.
“Kids as young as four or five 5 aspire to what they see around them, so by bringing them here (to Stockley Park) and them then going back to communities and sharing what they’ve seen and learnt - they can spread the word and inspire so many – exactly why events like these are really so important.”
“It’s been a real eye opener so far and were really looking forward to doing more of these across the business.” Says Sharon.