Working to inspire girls and young women into STEM is something we’ve been doing for 4 years now. Back in the Summer of 2015 things stepped up a level when we ran the pioneering Outbox Incubator programme. 115 young women, 6 weeks, 29 startups and countless gallons of milk later we have a documentary of our efforts and impact: “Eat. Sleep. STEM. Repeat.”
Since our inception, the mantra of “you can’t be what you can’t see” has driven a lot of our activities and interactions with young women. Presenting them with women in industry and opening up doors for them to experience STEM work up close has been a continual learning process.
We’ve learnt about the nuances in one’s sense of identity but also the power of media. Stereotypes and role models are carried out in the same way. Like a two-edged sword, media can work against someone’s perspective on their opportunities, options and abilities as well as having a positive influence. As we present this documentary, we’re continuing discussions with various production companies in a bid to change wider social norms. Ultimately this is a battle of hearts and minds.
So a heartfelt look at the network built, ups and downs, and life one year on for these young female entrepreneurs is just a start on the Outbox legacy – all in time for the UN’s International Day of Girls and Women in Science. There were tears at the previews.
People spoke of feeling like they were there. For the Stemettes team and our partners Salesforce.org, this has brought back many memories and shows the nature of the journey that each of these young women has been on.