Today, technology is part of our culture and our daily life. The people who create the technology have a major influence on our future. Unfortunately, women are still a minority in technical and scientific fields. And more generally, there is a huge shortage of qualified people in technical professions worldwide.
One of the reasons is gendered socialisation. In order to promote equality from an early age, we need to tell children about the problem. Using an engaging approach centred around technical professions, we can capture their attention with real-world examples and introduce the concept of gender stereotypes.
In partnership with Swiss Engineering Geneva, NGO WomenVAI has developed KidsVAI, a resource to show school children – with a focus on girls from an early age – that technical professions are open to both genders and play a key role in the society of tomorrow.
Objectives of the sessions
- Deconstruct gender stereotypes
- Awake interest and curiosity for technical fields
- Show that anyone can do any job, regardless of their gender
- Describe the education/qualifications needed to work in a technical profession
- Give school children examples of women role models
We run workshops with classroom sessions for school children aged 10 to 14, lasting two hours.
The interactive, children-friendly sessions are based on pictures and games and include in‑depth dialogue on technical professions. The sessions also address gender stereotypes, with content tailored to the 10-14 age group and lots of opportunities for the children to give their input.
In addition, women engineers and students from technical fields are available to give presentations and to answer any questions that any of the teachers may have.
We supported the organization of such workshops for the State of Geneva – Atelier sensibilisation aux stéréotypes de genre et métier de la technique | ge.ch