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Competition to get girls into STEM won by a boy

(45 Posts)
noblegiraffe Fri 26-Feb-16 21:01:07

www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35668358

So EDF has a campaign to encourage girls into STEM, called "Pretty Curious" (which has its own issues), but then opened up their "Pretty Curious" competition to both sexes and the winner was a boy.

How is that going to challenge girls' preconceptions of STEM careers?

Well done, EDF.

SeldomAthleticFC Fri 26-Feb-16 21:11:12

Fucking marvellous! What knobs. angry

zozzij Fri 26-Feb-16 21:35:58

I love how the name of the competition reassures girls that males will still want to fuck them even if they are good at science subjects.

StinkyPie Fri 26-Feb-16 21:54:57

I dont understand..WAS the competition a competition for girls or NOT??]

if it WAS, why were there even any entries from boys??

confused

gunting Fri 26-Feb-16 21:59:18

Argh this sounds familiar.

I work in a STEM industry and worked with the local college to set up a day to get girls into it.

It got completely taken over (by a man) who decided to call it 'geek chic' hmm

pastmyduedate0208 Fri 26-Feb-16 22:09:06

MASSIVE FAIL.

BombadierFritz Fri 26-Feb-16 23:04:28

Just came on to post this too! What a bunch of absolute dicks

thatstoast Fri 26-Feb-16 23:11:46

They had a campaign to encourage girls into stem. They then decided to have a competition which had the same name as the campaign but that was open to both girls and boys. It's a confusing message and someone in marketing needs to take a look at themselves.

The message to me is: Girls should be 'encouraged' into stem but only up to a point. When there's an actually something important going on, like a competition, then boys most be allowed in and they will win.

It can't be a great feeling for the boy who won either, to have this furore around it.

BombadierFritz Fri 26-Feb-16 23:21:17

Its ok tho cos the girls did 'really well' (patronising head tilt)

ClarenceTheLion Fri 26-Feb-16 23:30:45

Ugh. I'm glad I left you for British Gas, EDF....

First the name for the campaign sucks. 'Hey pretty girls! Let's take a few minutes away from the mirror to learn about science!!'

And the result of the competition is counter productive to their stated aim. They could have run a boys-only competition too, but no, that would have required a few brain cells.

What an Everest of fail...

AyeAmarok Fri 26-Feb-16 23:36:39

What the hell on the competition name.

And what the fuck on a boy winning.

Just, WHAT!

Idiots.

Did nobody in that company question this 'brilliant idea'?

AyeAmarok Fri 26-Feb-16 23:36:45

What the hell on the competition name.

And what the fuck on a boy winning.

Just, WHAT!

Idiots.

Did nobody in that company question this 'brilliant idea'?

Waypasttethersend Sat 27-Feb-16 00:18:43

The conversation -

" let's call the comp "pretty curious" good pun, v girlie

Table of men nod

"Oh shit just briefed press and they said the names a bit sexist confused

<<table of men panic>>

"Let's add boys in! If it's for boys too name can't be sexist innit??"

"But we said its for girls"

"Yeah but Erm but... the promo is aimed st girls the comp is for both right? They'll buy that??"

<<table of men nod>>

hmm

MrsJamin Sat 27-Feb-16 06:40:28

Read this yesterday on Gadgette (great women / tech blog). Utterly depressing.

merrymouse Sat 27-Feb-16 06:56:24

Sounds as though the whole thing was half arsed. It says they had 'a couple of hundred' entries, which probably means they got a handful of schools involved who were prepared to use the competition as a class project, but not one that didn't involve boys.

ClarenceTheLion Sat 27-Feb-16 11:54:18

So apparently it was a public vote, but the first names were attached. People would have known there was a boy in the running. This makes me think of all those studies were identical ideas or applications have more worth attributed to them if there is a male name attached. If it was anonymous, it wouldn't have looked so dodgy.

(Though you could argue that a game controller doesn't really fit the brief of being something for the bedroom - my dc's have their consoles in the living room, as do many other peoples.)

ClarenceTheLion Sat 27-Feb-16 11:56:25

*please excuse typos!

BombadierFritz Sat 27-Feb-16 18:36:43

That was my first thought too Clarence! An early lesson for girls thinking of a career in stem - get a neutral sounding name

sablepoot Sat 27-Feb-16 18:41:55

On the bright side, however ill conceived the idea, its now got far more publicity than it ever would have done if a girl had won and there was no furore. So on the grounds of any publicity being good publicity at least it's got people talking about the issue. And we really do need many, many more women in some STEM fields.

BombadierFritz Sat 27-Feb-16 19:18:45

Surely any girl with half a brain cell would think 'sexist dicks i'd be better off not going into stem'?

Homeriliad Sat 27-Feb-16 19:55:43

If the aim was to get girls into STEM, then the competition should only have been for girls; however as it wasn't (strange decision), maybe this boy's entry was the best.

VestalVirgin Sat 27-Feb-16 20:10:09

Surely any girl with half a brain cell would think 'sexist dicks i'd be better off not going into stem'?

I actually think that the reason why many women don't go into STEM is not because they're not good at it, but because the prospect of spending their entire career among sexist dicks is not very enticing.

itllallbefine Sun 28-Feb-16 09:11:37

Yeah, I'm sure that it's vestal...FFS. Do you work in STEM ? Have you asked any 15 year old girls if they aware that STEM is full of sexist dicks ? What a load of sh1t.

LurcioAgain Sun 28-Feb-16 09:33:55

My experience of working in STEM is that the men I encounter are if anything less sexist than the population at whole. However, one thing I notice among myself and my female colleagues (and we discuss this, because many of us are parents and want what's best for our children) is that we tend to be fully-paid-up members of the bolshy, awkward squad - because there is enormous social pressure during one's teens not to do maths/physics etc and it takes a certain sort of personality to say "you know what, I don't give a flying fuck" when confronted with that pressure. (In my experience, the pressure comes from society at large, not from men in science - things like putting the chemistry sets in the "boys' toys" aisle, the constant drip-drip-drip of "women are emotional and illogical", the "women just don't have the gift for spatial reasoning that men have" background noise - though I've seen many women say they were told as teenagers not to study physics/maths/chemistry by male teachers - so there's an element of luck to my experience that men within science have been supportive). And we - my female colleagues and I - can't help but wonder how much wasted talent there is out there - women who were potentially just as good at maths and physics as us, but didn't have that sort of fuck-the-lot-of-you personality.

Actually, on a day-to-day level in my workplace (important disclaimer, we have a pretty high number of women by the standards of STEM workplaces), what it means is the women are often more outspoken than the men - because the men cover all personality types from quiet introverts to quite outgoing - because there were no selection pressures on the men to have the personality type to go against the social grain as a pre-requisite. (My workplace is not a feminist nirvana, however - we still have a measurable gender pay gap which has actually widened over the last few years).

Of course there are other areas of STEM where sexism is rife - the computer game design industry seems to be one in spades (see the Gamergate controversy for e.g.)

GreenTomatoJam Sun 28-Feb-16 10:00:46

Hmmm.. I work in IT (I'm a programmer - well, I've been doing it a long time, I'm Head of Development level now, but if asked in conversation, I'd say I was a programmer).

I would say, that there is sexism in IT. That I have had men try to do end-runs around my authority, that I have had them not listen to what I've said unless it's confirmed by a man, and that once you venture out into the rest of the business it just gets worse (I had a colleague doing first line support who was horribly harassed, and changed entire careers because of it - the male first-liners were horrified at how she was treated).

I would also say that the road getting here was harder - I was one of the girls hounded out of Physics A-level, I've walked into more lecture theatres and labs as the sole woman than I can remember - and it takes a deep breath sometimes - I completely understand women not wanting to get involved, and it's the bolshy (or oblivious) ones that make it.

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