We were inspired by the call to tackle The Global Goals for Sustainable Development in this hackathon, in particular the Quality Education and Gender Equality goals.
A declining population in Japan will need to fully enable its workforce, in particular for the technology sector, where skilled workers are in high demand. It doesn't help that women are facing barriers to enter the workforce, where the workplace culture is not supportive. Moreover, many young girls are steered away from pursuing a career in the STEM field, due to cultural stereotypes and a lack of an understanding of what the day-to-day nature of these jobs look like.
What it does
We outline three strategies that aim to enable women to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields:
Targeted marketing campaigns customized to the audience's personalities based on their social media profiles, in addition to increasing the visibility of female role models in the media and arts.
Lifelong learning lab - A safe community hub for women to come together and learn about technology.
Tech Freelancers - Airbnb for project-based technology work. Clients can post their jobs on the database, and freelancers will be matched to the jobs according to their expertise and interests.
How we built it
Through extensive research of the existing education system and working environment, combined with first-hand experience from locals, we got an understanding of the barriers women face when it comes to entering the technology workforce.
Challenges we ran into
Identifying the core barriers to entry for girls and women to pursue a career in STEM.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
By interviewing women on the reasons why they decided not to pursue a career in STEM, we obtained an insight into the deeper social and cultural aspects of this phenomenon. Using these information, we were able to brainstorm ideas to properly address the issue.
What we learned
We learned that we need not only to introduce this kind of service to society, but also to change people's mind and social perspective on STEM. In a practical sense, it may be that "to improve the image of STEM" is the most crucial factor. It requires the actual improvement of STEM educational/ working environment to increase people who can join in the STEM community.
What's next for Gender Equality and Quality of Education
Moving forward, we hope to empower the younger generation of girls to consider STEM careers as a viable pathway to secure jobs and pleasant working environments. More importantly, we hope to initiate a conversation on this issue and garner the support of parents and businesses. We believe that they play an important role in making this goal a reality.