PARENTS

By 2020 the UK needs fill

76,000

new digital jobs, and train almost 2.3m digitally skilled workers to meet that demand (O2, 2016).

In many industries the most in-demand occupations didn't exist 10 years ago and the pace of change is only going to accelerate. It is estimated that 65% of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that do not yet exist. Job titles like 'vertical farmer' or 'body part maker' could be mainstream professions!

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WHAT CAN PARENTS DO ?

In such a rapidly changing environment it is crucial to anticipate and prepare our daughters for future skills requirements.

Parents have a major role to play. While it might be second nature to give girls "girly" toys like dolls, parents can use play moments to introduce their children to the growing world of technology. Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani says:

icon When it comes to encouraging young girls to pursue a male-dominated field like technology, parents can introduce their daughters to coding through educational and fun computer games—while managing screen-time limits. Through new research, we’ve seen that girls who experience computing in fun ways through games and toys, whether at school or at home, are four times more likely to pursue a career in computing.”

When girls get older, parents can encourage girls by enrolling them in local computing clubs or after-school clubs, to introduce them to new role models that show them how computing is transforming our world. Our relatable role models can help.

There are some wonderful books out there. Some of our favourites include:

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Bad Girls Throughout History

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Women in Science - 100 Postcards

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Girls are best

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Fantastically great women who changed the world

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Women who launched the computer age

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Girls think of

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Goodnight stories for rebel girls

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Lean In

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The Confidence Code

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Becoming Fearless

It’s also vital that girls improve their confidence and soft skills like teamwork, speaking and presenting, and critical thinking. These skills will equip girls to be brilliant candidates for the tech and digital roles of the future. It’s essential that these skills are taught and practiced alongside commercial and digital industry awareness - the two go hand in hand.

Today’s girls are already digital natives. We need to shift their focus from being digital consumers to digital creators, build their confidence and self-awareness and inspire them to think differently about the future.