Modern muses help girls with careers

A ground-breaking online platform designed to inspire and engage the next generation of female business leaders has launched at the House of Commons, by everywoman, with the support of BP and Microsoft

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Modern Muse: Empowering girls everywhere to make more informed career decisions

Modern Muse is an online platform that will empower girls everywhere to make more informed career decisions. Its vision is to change lives through knowledge - by being the hub for career inspiration and connections.

The platform profiles female role models from all backgrounds and showcases their educational achievements, career paths, working lives, the companies they work for and the opportunities those organisations offer young women.

It can also help to connect young girls with inspirational women in a wide variety of roles. Girls, aged eight and over, can learn about the career paths and education of profiled ‘modern muses’. They can choose to follow any number of registered muses and can create networks and identify future opportunities. By connecting with successful women, at a young age, it is hoped that this will inspire and help them make informed decisions about their future career choices, before they choose their GCSEs or A-levels.

"I once read an article in Vogue about Jo da Silva, a female Civil Engineer. I remember feeling so inspired that a woman could be so successful in Engineering and feature in one of the world’s best known magazines. I would have loved an opportunity to ask her questions in order to help me with my own career path and Modern Muse allows this interaction to happen."

Emily Melville, Subsea Engineer

Why is BP involved?

In countries such as the UK and US, there is widespread concern that not enough young people are choosing to study STEM subjects after the age of 16. Women are the most underrepresented, particularly in the physical sciences and engineering. This means that a pool of potential talent is being lost and organisations like BP, which depend on people with a strong foundation in STEM-related subjects, are missing out on the many benefits of a more diverse workforce.

For over 45 years, BP has been working to address the STEM skills gap through targeted investment at all levels of education. Our early STEM initiatives began as a teaching resource that has since grown into a comprehensive programme contributing to every stage of education, including early years, primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational.

BP built the online application with partner organisation Keytree, and transferred the ownership to everywoman, a not for profit organization, at the end of 2016.  Microsoft has now taken over as the platform host and technical developer of the product on behalf of everywoman.

"I think the best way to attract more women into engineering is to educate all young people on the huge range of engineering careers and roles available, including the less traditional career paths. The modern muse app should allow that research and informal discussion to take place in an non-intimidating format, compared to a more formal careers event."
Julie Crichton, Process engineer

Who are the ‘muses’?

Muses are women in the workplace, either working for an organisation or running their own business. They are all passionate about their work and have a strong desire to inspire the next generation. Currently there are over 500 muses from many different organisations such as Keytree, Deloitte, Specsavers, T-Systems, Microsoft and BP.

Each muse has their own profile showcasing the work they do. They are able to share their knowledge, insights and experience and through the online application, and they can help develop their own mentorship and leadership capabilities.

BP has approximately 30 registered muses who have all gained degrees in STEM and/or currently work in a STEM-related role. One is Claire Blakeway who has a Masters degree in Engineering and currently works in corporate communications. She said:  “I hope that the Modern Muse tool will provide real industry role models that will give young women insights not only into the variety of people employed in STEM-related jobs, but also the different routes we have followed to get to where we are today. For some young women, they may benefit from a realistic understanding of what’s needed to achieve their aspirations and others may need a better understanding of how useful a science or engineering qualification may be.”

“After 17 years of working with women of all ages, from all social and educational backgrounds, we recognise that every working woman needs a role model who they can relate to. The rich variety of experiences profiled on Modern Muse will give girls the tools to make that important first step in their career – and ensure parents and teachers know what is required to get them there."
Karen Gill MBE and Maxine Benson MBE, Founders of everywoman

Every woman in the world of work is encouraged to become a Modern Muse for International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March) by uploading their profile at www.modernmuse.org. Organizations big and small are invited to demonstrate their support for inspiring the next generation by becoming Corporate Partners of the Modern Muse project. For more information, please email info@modernmuse.org

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