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On Thursday the 14th of April 2016 technical companies, research- and educational institutes will open their doors to young girls aged 10-15 years in order to awaken their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is one of the activities of VHTO, the Dutch National Expert Organisation on Girls/ Women and Science/Technology, to increase the participation of girls in science, technology and ICT in the Netherlands. During Girlsday, organized annually by VHTO, more than 10.500 girls discover the world of science, technology and IT.
The activities that will take place during Girlsday are diverse. More than 300 large and smaller companies organize hands-on activities, tours, workshops, quizzes, contests, pitches and speed dates with female professionals for girls in primary and secondary education. All with one goal: to awaken their interest in science and technology.
Through various efforts VHTO, government, education and business, more and more Dutch girls in secondary education in the sciences. There is an increasement in STEM enrollments in the number of female students. But the shortage of well-trained scientists, engineers and IT specialists is certainly not yet been resolved. This attention is still needed.
Last year Jacqueline Prins (Director Gender Equality at The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science), Neelie Kroes (special envoy for StartupDelta) and Ans Hekkenberg (STEM ambassador) attended the opening ceremony of Girlsday 2016 at the ANWB Headquarters and Salesforce.
In 2015 Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science attended the opening ceremony of Girlsday 2015 at Smurfit Kappa Zedek in Deventer, one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions.