Female role models smash stereotypes
Telia has introduced "Female Role Model Day@Telia". The first event took place in March 2019, as to also celebrate International Women’s Day.
By 2022, the European Commission estimates a shortage of 500 000 so-called STEM workers, that is people who work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in the EU alone. Today, fewer than one in three of the STEM workforces is female.
At the same time, women increasingly have higher education than men, but only five percent of women choose to work for, for example telecommunication companies.
“We have a huge untapped talent potential here,” says Clara Bodin, at Telia People & Brand. "We can change this, by being role models to girls and young women and by showing them there is a place for them in this industry.”
A recent Microsoft study showed that girls are much more likely to consider a career in STEM if they have a female role model that inspires them. Furthermore, a study by Morgan Stanley shows that a more diverse workplaces deliver better returns. McKinsey also reports that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to outperform the industry median.
“Providing girls with access to female role models is one step in the right direction to dispel stereotypes associated with the tech industry and to get girls excited about tech,” Bodin says. “And we know that a diverse workforce is a key argument for financial growth.”
Almost a hundred girls and young women across Telia’s market countries took part in the first event.
“I haven’t been that interested in technology, said Chiara, 11, one of those who joined in Sweden. “But I want to find out about it. I can see that there are lots of different jobs. And I think, now, it is something I want to do. You also have a cool office, I wouldn’t be bored here.”
Conversations ranged from what it is like to be one of few girls in the school’s science club and daring to really go for what you want to achieve, to possible insecurities and what to think about when you apply for a job.
“I am really into math and science,” said one 16-year-old participant. “I want to work in that area. I think I can do it.”
More voices from participants:
“It was amazing. I didn’t know that there were so many cool jobs. The environment and the people were creative and cool. Most interesting during the job was meeting the robot and getting to program it.”
“It was a great day. I got to learn several new things and got to see what life is like for people who work at Telia. It was a great place and people really seemed to get along.”
"The day was great, and I felt welcome. Thank you! The best thing was to find out about how different IT projects look and what work here was like.”
“I enjoyed it. It was great to meet all the women of different ages and backgrounds. I was inspired and got some ideas about what I can do with my future.”
“The most interesting part of the day was to get motivated to keep going even if something feels difficult. These women are so smart, and they show it in the best possible way.”