This blog post has been written by Hannah Phillips, 20 who attended the event, and is an Outbox Incubator alumnus. She is the founder of 4wardz and writes regularly on Hannah’s Heartbeat.
On Thursday 28 January, Stemettes spent a day working with 1,800 girls across the UK at simultaneous events in Manchester, London, Newcastle, Dublin and Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to help out and spent my time in Manchester, with two of the Stemettes girls.
We travelled up on Thursday afternoon and whilst I painted my nails, my co-workers reviewed their plan of action together (I was there for moral support). We arrived in time to train our volunteers who were helping and then headed out for a ‘cheeky’ Nandos before heading to bed, ready for the event the next day.
During the welcome of the event, I was asked to share my own story about being a girl in tech. I spoke about my health journey and the challenges I’ve faced, as well as the business I’m starting as a result of my health. I explained how technology is helping me get there & how much I’ve learned since starting my new adventure (yes, adventure). You see, I never thought I would be a ‘girl in tech’. Coming from a drama background, technology didn’t even cross my mind. It was a good feeling to be able and stand there, as a girl ‘in tech’ and remind these girls that, YES, they can!
It was then time to play. I was amazed at how quickly the girls took to the game, we explained what had to be done and that was it, they were off. Everyone got involved and there was a real sense of teamwork throughout the whole morning. There was so much excitement and enthusiasm from everyone involved.
Once our session was done, we followed the girls into their other workshops. Workshops such as 3D printing and making wearable technology. Social media on the day went wild, the Stemettes’ Instagram was full of photos and our hashtag, #GirlsinStem was trending for 8 hours on Twitter. Why? Because YES girls can.
Our day ended with an award session for the girls. They were all reminded of how well they had done and some prizes were given out to the girls who had stood out throughout the day. For me, this was the most rewarding part of the day, to celebrate girl power. As we closed off, a girl shouted out “When can we come back” and from that moment, I knew we had done our job right. I hope that our message to them was powerful enough and that they understand that ‘YES they can’. The three of us travelled back to London that evening and the fact that we all fell asleep can only mean that our day was a success. It was an amazing day to be a part of.
Thank you to Accenture for partnering with Stemettes for the event, for recognising that there is a lack of girls in the STEM world and for empowering girls to BE the change.