Due to the good results, it was designed as a four-year program, with public-private support from “Junta de Castilla y León” and ASTI Talent & Tech Foundation. Therefore, the STEM Talent Girl program is developed in “Castilla y León” supported by the Family and Opportunity Equality Board and the Education Board as well as ASTI Talent & Tech Foundation.
As defined in the signed agreement, it is articulated the stable development of the program for four years, the public finance and the development of the program in all 9 provinces from Castilla y Leon region, reaching 600 girls and women.
Some causes are the lack of role models & the knowledge regarding jobs in STEM fields. The program is divided into three modules to support the girl’s development along their childhood and youth with appropriate activities to each age. Science for her: is aimed to 13 and 14-year-old girls just when choosing between science or arts according to the university studies to fulfil. We offer different activities: a talent search to identify the girl’s capabilities as reinforcement.
From November to June we organise 8 masterclasses with relevant women in STEM fields. These speeches are opened to the general public and provide role models for the girls although everybody can profit from them. The girls attend to 4 STEM workshops per year. They can be based on programming, robotics or chemistry, the goal is to learn “by doing”. They have four shadowing sessions in company so they can experience a STEM work from female professionals in different companies and learn from their daily activity.
The program includes the assistance to different events, national and international ones, where they can meet professionals and other girls to build a network. Mentor woman: this program is aimed to senior girls in their high school. They design a project and choose a mentor with the expertise to develop it. The mentors and the students work together with mentoring sessions in a monthly basis. The projects are presented in front of a jury. The 15 best projects are awarded with international internships in Boston where they will attend to technological workshops in the MIT.
The last step is Real work. This program is aimed to girls in their last university years or just graduated. We work with the companies to offer positions and identify the best capabilities to fulfil the company expectative. The company define the required specific knowledge to take over the position. We offer to the most appropriate students the concrete training courses to acquire the needed knowledge, speeding up the incorporation into the most appropriated company. With this program we match companies and students to obtain benefits at both ends of the relationship. All participants are satisfied: The students see the experience as a great opportunity to meet STEM jobs, perceiving them as feasible. 100% of the girls continue in the program, and 90% of them will focus on STEM careers. Their families are also satisfied. The mentors are really involved with the program. They feel satisfied by sharing their know-how, stablishing mentor-girl relationships. We have stablished a community of 200 mentors. The companies are proud to promote the project by involving their employees who see their work put into value while taking part in a program to improve reality. The public administrations are helping us to develop this program as they see it as beneficial for the general welfare.
We receive support from “Junta de Castilla y León” (Consejería de familia e igualdad de oportunidades, “Dirección de la Mujer” and “Consejerías de educación” The partners in the initiative: ASTI mobile robotics, L’oréal, MEH, “Mujer y Talento” foundation, Cartif, GMV, “La Caixa” foundation, telefónica open future, CENIEH, “Fundación atapuerca”, execyl and other companies and institutions.
We are already working on new ways to reach more population: a digital platform to put in contact mentors from every part in the world with girls, and reach other students living outside the big cities such as countryside locations. We are looking for new opportunities to offer the girls experiences with foreign people and institutions. ASTI Foundation has a strong commitment with talent; in fact we hold the vice-presidency of the alliance for the development of the digital talent in AMETIC (Spain). The STEM Talent Girl project is part of the digital skills and job coalition at national and European levels. Our work has been rewarded with the Spanish Digital skill award in the category “Digital Skills for Girls and women”
The success of the program comes from different perspectives:
- The program is a longitudinal one, addressed to 13-year-old girls to accompany them until their last years in university and even first year in company. The length of the program is the main strength, as we walk by the participants along different steps in their lives;
- The program provides knowledge in technology through workshops in company or in academy;
- The program provides feminine role models through open masterclasses. These masterclasses are opened to the general public, and everyone can attend to them to share experiences;
- We are developing a digital platform to share knowledge and experiences within the community. The internet will help us to share the knowledge inside and outside the community;
- We are expanding the program among countryside locations whose habitants cannot access to the cities easily;
- The program provides real STEM experiences in company through shadowing sessions;
- The program provides international experiences through grants as reward for the best “Mentor women” projects;
- The program provides a cognitive-abilities study through talent search, to maximize the capacities development of every girl applying to the program;
- The program helps the students to get into work through “real work”;
- The program invites the girls to participate in national and international events to spread their networks;
- The program offers the girls a wide perspective of STEM topics to provide the necessary knowledge to select the right option for each girl.
So far, 100% of the participants remain in the project, 90% of the participants have selected STEM studies for the university. Girls and their families are 100% satisfied with the program. We have received 3.500 attendants in the masterclasses. In the two editions running the program, we have attracted 600 girls performing 600 Talent searches. We have detected 105 girls with high capacities. We have been able to create a community with as much as 600 interested students and 200 committed mentor women. We have executed 32 masterclasses, we have attended with the students to 6 international events, we have executed 54 shadowing sessions and 16 workshops. Our students have developed 15 study works concerning various topics regarding new technologies and overall entrepreneurship.
But this is only the beginning… for this edition we are programming 72 new masterclasses, we are receiving around 800 new girls with their talent searches, we will execute more than 100 shadowing sessions and overall, we will add 270 new students to our community In three editions, the program has reached 9 cities from the North of Spain.
It is planned to reach every city in Spain in 4 years. The program is sustainable thanks to public and private funding. As mentioned, the “Junta de Castilla y León” through the (“Consejería de familia e igualdad de oportunidades”, “Dirección de la Mujer”) has supported the program and encouraged us to replicate it in all cities in the region.
Other companies and organizations have become our partners in the initiative:
- ASTI mobile robotics,
- L’oréal, “Museo de la evolución humana” (human evolution museum),
- “Mujer y Talento” foundation,
- Cartif technological centre,
- “La Caixa” foundation,
- The rest of the sponsors such as: telefónica open future, CENIEH, “Fundación atapuerca”,
Those are only some examples of the private funding that we are receiving to run the program.