Katharine Childs from the UK



How did you get involved in STEM project what are your main objectives
in your role?

I’ve always worked in the IT sector, having first started out as a support
technician and then working as a Network Manager in schools. I saw how
important it was for children to learn digital skills and now I work on a
programme called Code Club (www.codeclub.org.uk), supporting schools and
venues to start their own coding clubs for children and young people.

What work have you done with girls/women?

Code Club is designed to appeal equally to boys and girls through the use
of gender-neutral activities. A recent survey showed that 40% of
participants engaging with Code Clubs are girls.

Why do you think it is important to engage girls/women?

I’ve worked as the lone female in several teams, and found that I often
approach problems in a different way. I tend to look at the impact caused
by a problem and how solving it would benefit people, whereas my male
colleagues tend to approach problems as a technical puzzle to be solved.
It’s impossible to generalise completely by gender, but I believe that the
more diversity there is in computing, the more we will develop diverse

What are the benefits of STEM?

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects can help us
unlock our understanding of the world around us as well as inspiring us to
create and make new ideas. The use of technology, in particular, has
changed every aspect of our lives from the way we work and shop, to the way
we socialise with friends. Although STEM subjects have traditionally been
thought of as ‘difficult’ subjects to study, they can lead to exciting and
varied jobs that make a difference to people’s lives.