‘You cannot be what you cannot see’. Girls and young women need to see real life examples of women in a variety of roles to raise their own aspirations. In particular women from a range of backgrounds who look like them, sounds like them and come from the same place as them.
The idea is not to only present women working in male dominated fields, but to present young women with a realistic look into a range of careers and to understand a sector better. It is important to have a range of academic and non-academic options to be inclusive.
Contact working women from a range of industries come to the group session over a term and deliver inspiring and informative talks. Some may warrant a small fee for visiting.
Ask the speaker to join group session and deliver inspiring and informative talks. Encourage the girls to ask questions about what the woman’s job is like and how they got into it.
If you can secure more than one speaker per session you could hold panel-style discussions or question and answer sessions. You could also reach out to organisations to secure placements or work experience for the young women, or organise a work exposure trip where your group visits women in their workplace.
If you work with an older age group, it is a good idea to have information to signpost young women to short courses or apprenticeships that can lead to certain careers.
If you work with younger girls, you could encourage them draw themselves doing their dream job if you have time at the end of the session.