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More women in crafts and technology


Women are still underrepresented in professions and training linked to technology and crafts. Career guidance can enable them to make the most of their talents by helping them overcome traditional gender roles.

In the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, an initiative was launched to improve the awareness of gender issues among those providing professional counselling services to girls preparing career choices.

The ‘Holly Wood’ project, made possible thanks to financial support from the European Social Fund (ESF), organises workshops for career guidance staff and provides advice and training to improve their ‘gender competence’.

This involves raising questions such as: how does the gender dimension influence the learning process? How can crafts and technology be made more appealing to girls?

Activities also include crafts workshops for girls.

“We aim to break down gender stereotypes”, is the creado of the ‘Handwerkerinnenhaus’ (‘House of craftswomen’) in Cologne which is running the project.

Thanks to the project, 460 girls and 266 career guidance counsellors received advice or practical training. Building on this success, another such project was started in 2013.


Project name: Achieving more gender competence in career guidance services: Holly Wood – more girls in crafts and technology
Area of activity: Opening pathways to work
Project duration: August 2011 – December 2012
ESF contribution: EUR 163 600
Total budget: EUR 207 344
Participants: 460 girls / 266 counsellors
Country: Germany
Organisation: Handwerkerinnenhaus Köln e. V.
Contact details: Brigitte Haas
+49 (0)221 7390555