January 15, 2016

Accenture and Stemettes to Bring Together 1,800 Girls across UK and Ireland to Create Digital Apps and Inspire Future Careers

London; Jan. 15, 2016 – Accenture and Stemettes will host ‘Girls in STEM’ events for 1,800 girls on 28 January at five locations in the UK and Ireland. The girls, aged 11 - 15, will have the chance to try their hand at coding, take part in workshops and hear from inspirational speakers from the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) sector, including representatives from the BBC and Women in Gaming, as well as Naomi Mitchison, an IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year, and Carrie Bishop, director of Futuregov.

The events, in London, Dublin, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester, will be the biggest Accenture and Stemettes have held to date, and they aim to encourage more girls into STEM subjects and careers.

A recent report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills in July 2015 found that 43 percent of vacancies in STEM roles are hard to fill due to a shortage of applicants with the required skills. Accenture and the Confederation of British Industry also published research in December 2015, which found that job creation is up, but 46 percent of respondents reported a lack of skills, which can lead to a major impact on UK’s labour market competitiveness. For that reason, 52 percent cited the development and maintenance of digital skills as having a new urgency.

At the same time, an Accenture survey from last year found that 60 percent of girls aged 12 feel that STEM subjects are too difficult to learn. This suggests the issue needs to be tackled early in the school career of girls and that parents, schools and industry need to collaborate to address the issue.

“It is a serious concern that girls believe that STEM subjects are too hard to learn, so the aim of our events is to showcase the applicability of these skills through interactive workshops,” said Emma McGuigan, senior managing director for Accenture Technology in the UK and Ireland. “The speakers and workshops across the UK and Ireland aim to inspire girls and educate them about the amazing possibilities open to them.”

The five events build on one that Accenture ran in Newcastle in January 2015, which was attended by 300 girls from across the North East of England.

“By expanding our STEM events to five locations in 2016, we hope to encourage even more girls to commit to studying STEM subjects,” said Olly Benzecry, country managing director for Accenture in the UK and Ireland. “As an employer providing STEM-based jobs, we are committed to supporting the work the government is already doing to ensure young people are excited about careers in STEM.”

"We’re excited to be partnering with Accenture for the second year in a row to run such a large event for girls in STEM”, said Anne-Marie Imafidon, Stemettes. “This year the strong attendance at so many locations shows the need for these events nationally. I’m excited to be bringing these girls on their own personal Stemette journeys, hopefully ending up in industry."

Every event in the upcoming series will feature a hackathon led by the Stemettes, in which girls will compete using the Hakitzu Code Warriors game, using JavaScript as their weapons of choice to programme their way to victory. In London and Newcastle, the attendees will participate in a crypto-analysis and code breaking workshop developed by the FBI, which promises to provide insight into digital forensics and cyber security. Other sessions include a virtual reality workshop and a Minecraft ‘hack jam’ which makes use of the Raspberry Pi and Python programming language.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

About Stemettes
Stemettes is an award-winning social enterprise which inspires girls into careers in STEM through panel events, hackathons, Outbox Incubator, and a mentoring programme. The organisation, which has reached 6000 girls to date, is also in the process of launching an app, OtotheB, to create a global online platform for girls interested in STEM and entrepreneurship, which all of the girls attending the "Girls in STEM" events will be using on the day.

# # #


Molly McDonagh
+ 44 7825 023 622

Tim Ferguson
+ 44 7769 955302