In 2012 boys outnumbered girls participating in Thinkspace programs roughly 4:1, but it’s not just Thinkspace.
In a comprehensive review of engineering education coordinated by the Australian Council of Engineering Deans in 2008, author Professor Robin King said that underpinning the current engineer shortage, “the underrepresentation of women in engineering is something which has continually concerned us.”
Following conversations with Young Australian of the Year and founder of Robogals, Marita Cheng, a number of initiatives were identified to support young girls becoming involved in technology based activities, one being to provide a girls-only experience as an option in the Thinkspace program.
Thinkspace is committed to providing workshop that are accessible to the widest possible audiences. Being pro-active in regards to under-represented groups is one demonstration of this commitment. Since implementing this initiative number of girls attending is approaching parity.
Thinkspace also offers workshops specifically to meet the needs of disadvantaged young people at school, in support of the NSW Departments of Education and Communities’ Links to learning program, as well as weekly programs for groups of adults with a disability.