Our first range of pyjamas is STEM inspired. Science, engineering, maths and technology offer so much to excite and inspire children, now and in the future, and although boys have lots of role models and examples in their clothing, there’s still a long way to go for girls. We believe that girls should be encouraged to pursue anything they want to, and it is well researched and understood that introducing concepts to children at an early age encourages a life-long interest.
Girls and young women experience gender stereotypes from a young age which can prevent them from reaching their full potential. Girls as young as 6 believe themselves to be less smart than boys. Something happens in early childhood that starts to limit their perceptions of themselves.
Only one in three girls who take maths and science at GCSE progress to take a STEM subject at A-level or equivalent, compared to eight out of ten boys. How many more girls could discover their full potential and thrive in these traditionally male-dominated careers if they’ve been inspired from a very early age by growing up with images of science and maths around them, familiar and normal in their lives?
There is a huge skills shortage in the UK in STEM jobs, and an increasing number of jobs in STEM are being created every year. This is a great opportunity for the women of the future. We have diversity challenges at every level from education onwards – although the statistics are generally getting more positive.
In 2018, only 26% of STEM graduates were women, 22% of the core STEM workforce are women, and although 53% of the companies on the FTSE 100 are classified as STEM companies, only 9% of board executives at FTSE 100 STEM companies are women (all statistics from the WISE Campaign).
With technology shaping ever increasing amounts of our lives, it makes so much sense to try and increase the gender diversity in STEM professions and make sure women’s voices are heard. STEM affects everything around us – the range of careers you can go into with a STEM background is very diverse, covering education, robotics, environmental issues, transport, medical innovation, sport, fashion, aerospace, food, alongside more traditional STEM roles. What amazing opportunities to shape the way our world develops.
We don’t think our pyjamas alone will change these statistics – if only it was that easy! We hope they will be part of the inspiration that changes gender role perceptions for the next generation of women – girls who have been inspired by Jodie Whittaker as Dr Who and excited by the increasing number of books and TV shows that give them role models to encourage them.
We think that normalising STEM from an early age for girls will help build girl’s science capital. Introducing science, engineering and technology concepts to girls in small ways in their every-day environment can only be a really positive step forward, helping girls to imagine their futures differently and enabling them to see themselves as thinkers, creators and inventors.