Empowering young girls to become tomorrow’s leaders

Did you know that women represent only one-third of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates and less than one-fifth of ICT (information and communications technology) specialists in the European Union? Women’s participation in these fields must increase to create a more inclusive Europe and bring new perspectives to research and innovation.

The Girls Go Circular project is doing its share to reduce the gender gap in STEM and ICT. Through the project, girls aged 14-19 in Southern and Eastern Europe can improve their digital and leadership skills and learn about the circular economy. A circular economy is a system in which everything is reused, repaired, recycled, or upcycled. Waste and CO2 emissions are strongly reduced or eliminated.

Circular Learning Space – the learning platform for digital skills

The Circular Learning Space is the platform where the learning takes place. While the Girls Go Circular project targets girls specifically, the platform welcomes everyone! We all need to learn about the circular economy and collaborate to dismantle gender stereotypes.

Students can choose between intermediate and advanced learning modules that explore the circular economy from different angles on the Circular Learning Space. The modules relate to our everyday life and give guidance on how to be more sustainable – for example, in how we relate to fashion, waste generation, and food consumption, to name a few.

Over 2000 students have already used the platform and told us what they thought.

I think it was a very interesting programme. We, young people, will be responsible for caring for our planet, and we must know and learn all the damage that our actions are causing and find appropriate solutions.” – Participating student

All modules are based on a learning-by-doing approach. Students complete interactive challenges to design circular products and services. While consolidating their knowledge of the circular economy, students use digital tools to acquire practical skills. After completing a learning module, they receive a certificate that attests to the skills acquired.

Curious about the Circular Learning Space? Have a sneak peek at the Robotics and the Circular Economic module challenge, where students can create their own chatbot.

Teachers are also involved, and we encourage them to use the Circular Learning Space with their students. We want the platform to support teachers in talking about the circular economy at school, and we want to help them offer students a life-changing learning experience. Check out below what one of the teachers involved in the project said about the learning platform:

We have the ambitious goal to empower 50.000 girls across Europe by 2027, supporting them in acquiring the skills they will need to work and contribute to creating a more sustainable future. Do you want to be involved too? Create an account on the platform and start your learning experience right away!

Women and Girls in STEM Forum

Girls Go Circular has united forces with the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), to organise the first Women and Girls in STEM Forum. In this annual event, experts and students will discuss the future of gender equality in STEM, sharing ideas and proposals to make Europe more inclusive.

The Women and Girls in STEM Forum will take place on 28 October 2021 from 9:30 – 12:30 Central European Time (CET) in a digital format. Are you interested to know more about gender equality in STEM and ICT? Then register on the event web page.

We look forward to welcoming you to the event!

This article has been published in the October 2021 edition of the ENGIE Magazine.