Girls told to ‘Go For It’ in science

The Government this week launched a poster campaign for schools designed to get more teenage girls into science and engineering careers. The campaign, called ‘Go For It’, features six posters of young women who work in science or technology jobs, including a chemical analyst, civil engineer and electrical and mechanical technician. Half of the women […]

The Government this week launched a poster campaign for schools designed to get more teenage girls into science and engineering careers.

The campaign, called ‘Go For It’, features six posters of young women who work in science or technology jobs, including a chemical analyst, civil engineer and electrical and mechanical technician. Half of the women featured left school at the age of 16.

‘It shows young women in casual, trendy clothes with successful personal lives, who just happen to be scientists,’ said a spokeswoman at the Office of Science and Technology, which is running the campaign.

Focus group research into girls’ attitudes to careers in science, carried out for the campaign, showed that many girls felt alienated by what they saw as the ‘impersonal and value-free’ content of science. They were looking for the opportunity for personal creativity and debate, and wanted to do things with social relevance.

The typical perception among teenage girls of a scientist was of a middle-aged man in a white coat.