'Skirting Science' is proving jobs for the boys can be for girls

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 March 2014

Skirting Science.

Skirting Science.

Archant

RECORD-BREAKING numbers of women are now in work according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

A Weston-based women’s organisation has said making females aware of paths into ‘male’ careers is an important part of keeping these numbers high.

The ONS announced more than 14 million women are in employment in the UK and 2,559,000 people aged 16-64 are now in work in the South West, from numbers taken from October to December last year. This South West figure also shows an increase of 3,000 people getting jobs from July to September in 2013.

The Weston branch of Soroptimist International has been working to get young girls and women into stereotypical ‘male’ roles such as engineering and physics.

This is done through the group’s Skirting Science events and Melanie David, programme action officer for the Weston team, said news of more women in the workplace is a great step forward.

She said: “In some odd way things have gone a bit backwards and girls have gone more girly and pink.

“While in medicine there are plenty of girls, and females outnumber boys in work such as veterinary science, in the hard sciences such as physics, chemistry and engineering they are still regarded as boys’ jobs.

“What we are trying to do in Soroptimist is show girls how many opportunities there are in the field of science, and that it’s not just men in white coats.

“You can still be feminine and do a job like that.”

According to the ONS’s latest survey for October to December 67.2 per cent of women aged 16-64 were in work, up from 66.5 per cent a year earlier in the UK.

Weston’s Soroptimist International’s next Skirting Science event will be held at Weston’s Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College on June 19.

Melanie added: “We are very much in favour of women making the most of themselves and doing everything they possibly can, therefore making it easier for women to work.”

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