Several projects in Slovenia have already addressed different issues concerning women and employment, but only after a problem was already identified (e.g. women seeking first employment, long-term unemployed women, etc.)
We believe that steps should be taken before the actual problems arise, for example when young women are still deciding what they want to do in life and what to study. In fact, at that crucial stage young women should be well informed about the benefits of scientific and technical careers and shown first hand what scientific and technical jobs actually look like. Virtually all EU countries are faced with a lack of women in science, which is why the international project Girls' Day was initiated some years ago.
The aim of the project is to educate, motivate and advise young women on careers in science and technology through workshops, seminars, and, most importantly, an open doors day in organisations where jobs are normally dominated by men. Girls' Day encourages young women to try out and become familiar with scientific and technical jobs, hopefully making their career decisions easier.
In the USA, the Girls' Day event has been held on every fourth Thursday in April ever since 1991. On this day, employers open their doors and invite young women to become practically acquainted with scientific and technical jobs, and to find out for themselves how interesting they can be. Young men are asked to stay in school, otherwise the hosts would most likely be paying more attention to them.
We have been following the Girls' Day project for some time, and have been fascinated by the positive results, with both young women and prospective employers providing a very positive feedback.
Following the example of other countries where the project has been successfully implemented for years, we decided to introduce Girls' Day also in Slovenia. Experience from abroad shows that the project has been a success, and the number of young women who have benefited from it keeps rising every year. This international project began in the USA, but soon found its way also to Europe. Slovenia's closest neighbouring country has been implementing and expanding it since 2004, but the project keeps growing due to extremely positive results. We are therefore extremely excited to introduce Girls' Day in Slovenia.
- to raise awareness, encourage and inform young women about career possibilities in typically male dominated professions (jobs with a future);
- to show the participating institutions and enterprises that women represent a source of untapped potential. Regardless of their formal education, women can be extremely determined, hard-working, ambitious, and able to excel also in "typically male" jobs. Experience from abroad shows that the position of women on the labour market has improved, with companies gradually shedding gender biases and increasingly accepting females in "typically male" positions;
- to raise awareness among employers on making jobs in technology and science more attractive and adjusted to women;
- to contribute towards long-term shedding of preconceptions about typically male and typically female professions. When empowered with knowledge from different sources, young women will be more motivated and more likely to opt for jobs in science and technology. The project promotes the concept of equal opportunities on the labour market, encourages more women to take up technical and scientific jobs, thereby advocating their social inclusion. Workshops are designed to introduce careers in science and technology, helping women gain employment.
More information (only in slovene lanuguage) on the website http://www.danzapunce.si/.