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International Women in Engineering Day (23rd June) – Your little girl could be the next Ada Lovelace!

As a parent, if your child says they want to be a footballer when they grow up, then after-school football coaching sessions might be the first port of call. And for active pre-schoolers with dreams of performing on stage one day, dance classes are a great way to burn off excess energy and nurture that passion. But what future career paths lay ahead of children who show an affinity for technology?

We’ll let you in on a little-known secret – there are more than you think!

Today it’s International Women in Engineering Day. In celebration, we’ve spoken with Grant Smith, Vice President of Education for kid’s coding specialist, Code Ninjas, about the range of future opportunities available to girls – and boys – and why parents should encourage them to explore their love of tech from a young age.

Creative industries – graphic designer, architect, marketing professional.

The UK’s creative industry contributed £101.5billion to the UK economy in 20171, and much of that is down to the demand for digital creative professionals, like video game designers and videographers. Children that are more creative – the ones who love an afternoon of finger painting or Playdough modelling – could actually be cultivating a long-term goal of a career in the creative sector. But understanding the fundamental systems that operate in their field is just as important as their natural flair for creativity.

All of the occupations listed above demand an ability to utilise digital tools confidently. Exposing your child to these digital skills as early as possible will help them stand out from competitors once the time comes for them to enter the workforce.

Healthcare and public services industries – doctor, nurse, teacher.

All healthcare professionals utilise some form of technology-driven system in their daily role. And as technology continues to advance, almost on a daily basis, teachers are expected to keep up with the digital resources that schools use to deliver their curriculum.

Training to become a doctor, a nurse, a paramedic, a primary school teacher or any other public service role takes a lot of dedication. If your child is passionate about helping others – whose child hasn’t wanted to play doctors and nurses after a sibling has taken a tumble? – then encouraging an interest in STEM subjects, and exploring this interest early on, means they’ll be equipped with some of the initial knowledge required before the word ‘university’ has even been mentioned.

Corporate industries – banker, CEO, accountant.

Okay, so your daughter – or son – is probably less likely to grow up with aspirations of preparing profit and loss reports, but many do show early on that they’re going to grow up one day to lead and inspire people. Ada Lovelace was only 12 years old when she first became interested in flight and the economics of air travel.

All visionaries and leaders require the convenience of technology to reach their goals – and the world still needs more female CEOs. In the UK, only six women hold positions of power at the UK’s top 100 firms2. Despite more girls than ever showing an interest in STEM subjects, only 26% opt to study these at university3. By exposing your daughter to the wonders of STEM skills early on, you’re equipping her with the ability to truly stand out from the crowd.

“First and foremost, it’s crucial that children are given the opportunity to just be children – to have fun and explore STEM education in a safe environment. During lockdown, families are spending more time than ever before at home, which provides a fantastic opportunity for parents to recognise their children’s passions and encourage exploration of those. Try free gaming software or online tutorials that teach children the basics of coding – a digital language that covers so much more than just how to play video games. Coding teaches children how to communicate effectively, how to work as part of a team, and how to have confidence in their own abilities. You never know, you might have the next Ada Lovelace in the making.”

For free coding activities that your child can work through at home, visit blog.codeninjas.com

1 Creative Industries Federation, 2019, Global Talent: Securing the future workforce of the UK economy.

2 Hampton-Alexander Review, 2019, Improving gender balance in FTSE Leadership.

3 WISE, 2019, Campaign for gender balance in science, technology & engineering annual re