Technophobia is not for women
Helping women in Slovenia to break down the barriers they face in pursuing science.
Under the banner ‘Technophobia is not for Women’, Kranj City Library’s challenge team held events to address the issues that stop women from pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Conscious of the lack of role models available to young women, the team held a ‘Living Library’ where women working in STEM were invited to become ‘living books’. Young women could learn from their experiences and draw inspiration from their achievements.
After seeing that LEGO® robotics workshops at the library often involved far more boys than girls, the challenge team also organised all-girl robotics sessions as well as all-female workshops for programming.
The initiatives were a huge success. To broaden the learning campaign, the team launched a nationwide storytelling competition, and promoted this by sharing the women’s STEM video stories – often reflecting on the barriers they faced.
Having had a great response from the community, the business community and educational institutes, the challenge team plans to continue this work.
The library received national media coverage for the initiative and a member of staff was put forward for an award for women. In the context of live learning, in a pandemic, Kranj really pushed itself to engage with the community in solutions building on female STEM learning, something that can be replicated across Europe.
Nina Svetelj from the library said: “At the library, we have many times realised that at some point we would need to engage more strongly with the local community and the Europe Challenge was the perfect opportunity to do just that. As a public space, the library is no longer just a place where you go to borrow books, it is essentially a place to promote active citizenship.”
The Europe Challenge (2021) | Mestna knjižnica Kranj (mkk.si)