Last week Liberty Global welcomed 24 girls from Kaj Munk College in the Netherlands for a visit as part of National Girls’ Day—an initiative by VHTO for girls aged 10 to 15 to inspire an interest in science, technology and IT from a young age.
VHTO, Vrouwen in Hoger Technisch Onderwijs (Women in Higher Technical Education), is the Expertise Center for Gender Diversity in Science, Technology and IT and works closely with educational institutions, government, companies and other NGOs to increase the participation of girls and women in STEM.
In total, 9000 girls and over 250 businesses participated in this year’s Girls’ Day throughout the country. During the visit, the girls were given the opportunity to learn more about Liberty Global, our careers in tech, and our commitments to gender diversity. Students toured the office to see everyday examples of working in STEM and participated in speed networking with employees in the company, providing an opportunity for the girls to ask questions about careers in STEM. The event was organised as a collaboration between our Community Impact team and our employee resource group, WIN, which aims to connect, grow and inspire women and our allies.
Why is Girls’ Day so important?
Girls and women are significantly under-represented in tech education and professions, making up only 16% of STEM and IT roles in the Netherlands. On National Girls’ Day, girls across the Netherlands visit IT, Tech and Science companies to gain exposure to different STEM sectors, increasing the chance that they will consider a career within these industries in the future.
Soraya Loerts, Chief DE&I Officer of Liberty Global said: “Encouraging and empowering young women to learn STEM is crucial for bridging the gender gap in technology and driving innovation. By inspiring and supporting women talent, we can create a more diverse and inclusive industry, unlocking a wealth of talent and potential that will benefit us all.”
Sahar Yadegari, director of VHTO said: “We’re delighted that hundreds of companies throughout the Netherlands have participated in Girls’ Day once again. This initiative encourages girls to experience technology in a new way and gain a broader view of opportunities it presents. Our society is increasingly shaped by technology. Girls should be able to influence that.”
By showcasing all the exciting jobs in STEM, organizations like Liberty Global can help motivate these girls towards a future career in a sector significantly underrepresented by women.
About Girls’ Day
Girls’ Day is an annual event where thousands of girls visit companies in science, technology and IT. VHTO links schools to companies or business units in the area. This gives the girls an accessible introduction to what science, technology and IT has to offer, they also meet female employees and thus gain a broader view of their own possibilities.