BT, O2, Vodafone and Ericsson team up to launch ‘Step into STEM’ scheme

Kayleigh Bateman

BT, O2, Vodafone and Ericsson have joined forces to launch a scheme to encourage girls to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Step into STEMThe programme called ‘Step into STEM’ will be working with Girls Talk London, to offer young women advice on how to reach senior business roles.

BT director of field, business and ethernet connections at Openreach Paula Constant said: “This scheme could make a real difference in encouraging girls to apply for jobs that require STEM skills. Research shows that even though girls study the relevant subjects in school, only a minority go on to pursue careers in this area.”

O2 chief operating officer Derek McManus said: “Our research revealed that many girls haven’t yet considered a career in tech or STEM and it’s an issue which is becoming deeply engrained from a young age.

“Far too many young people maintain the belief that these types of careers are most suited to men. Clearly there are some outdated myths that need busting.”

The programme is currently a pilot, with the aim of rolling it out across the UK in the future.

Girls Talk London selected 20 year 12 students last month from four schools in London. The schools are King Solomon Academy, St Michael’s Catholic School, Heathcote School and Our Lady’s Convent School.

The chosen few have been matched with a mentor from the four companies. They each receive one monthly session until October where they learn about their chosen roles and get advice on how to enter them. A week’s work experience at one of the companies in July will also be offered.