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Improving Gender Balance Scotland (IGBS) has been shortlisted for the Herald & GenAnalytics National Diversity Awards 2017 in the Diversity Through Education category.

IGBS is a three-year project aimed at identifying and tackling the challenges facing students as a result of gender stereotypes. The project is a partnership between Institute of Physics, Skills Development Scotland and Education Scotland.

Its two project officers work closely with education practitioners, careers advisers and educational and government bodies to help schools identify and tackle issues of hidden bias around gender and subject choice.

The work in early years and primary schools focuses on preventing early bias in career choices, whilst in secondary schools a particular focus has been on students’ choices in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. The project engages with all members of the school community - including pupils, teachers, parents and school management.

Karen Murray, SDS Head of National Training Programmes, said: “By involving the whole school community, we can empower pupils to make choices based on their interests and abilities alone, and help them to recognise the wealth of opportunity a STEM career in Scotland offers.

“Improving Gender Balance Scotland is part of work we’re undertaking across Scotland to address issues facing STEM industries and help to create a pipeline of talent going into STEM careers and apprenticeships.”

Alison McLure, National Officer for the IOP in Scotland said: “IGBS was also this week endorsed in the Scottish Government Programme 2017-18, and the IOP looks forward to working with the Scottish Government to take this forward.”

Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director of Education Scotland, said: “Gender stereotyping is everywhere in society so it is important that we engage with schools to raise awareness of the issue from an early age.

“Through the Improving Gender Balance Scotland project, we want to make a real difference in tackling gender inequalities. This will help ensure that young people fulfil their potential by making informed choices about their future based on their interests rather than on societal influences.”

The Diversity Awards recognise best practice and innovation within the Scottish education sector linked to championing greater diversity and inclusion for students, staff and local communities.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow on Thursday 12 October.


Find out more about Improving Gender Balance Scotland.

Primary pupils win big by busting gender myths.

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