Girlguiding and Google take partnership to next level

28 April 2022

Girlguiding and Google take partnership to next level to inspire next generation of girls into STEM

  • Half of girls (52%) between the age of 11 and 21 believe that STEM is for boys, reveals Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey
  • The partnership will see digital skills built into Girlguiding’s national programme, with co-created activities available to all girls aged 5 to 18, expanding on the success of Google’s Digital Adventure for Brownies and Digital design badge for Rangers

Girlguiding, the UK’s leading charity for girls and young women, and Google have expanded their nationwide partnership to inspire more girls and young women to pursue interests in technology and engineering and challenge gender stereotypes. 

Google and Girlguiding are providing nearly 400,000 girls and young women with opportunities to learn digital skills, including coding and algorithms with new co-created activities. The new unit meeting activities include Happy appy for Rainbows to learn about app designs, Brownies learning how to write code and fix bugs in Brownie bots, Guides learning about chatbots in Chattermatter and Rangers designing phones in Build-a-phone

All of the new activities have been designed by Girlguiding’s Programme team and Google’s engineers to help girls explore the concepts needed for a digital world, with the aim of breaking gender stereotypes surrounding STEM subjects. The new activities will form part of Girlguiding’s national programme within the Skills for my future theme spanning all four Girlguiding sections and have been created to be completed offline, to ensure they are accessible to all girls.

Girlguiding’s latest Girls’ Attitudes Survey revealed that more than half of girls (52%) between the age of 11 and 21 believe that STEM is for boys, a stat that remains unchanged since 2016. Younger girls are keener to explore these subjects than older age groups (13% of 7–10-year-olds feel STEM subjects are for boys vs 52% of 11-21 year olds). Over two fifths of girls (42%) said they feel there aren’t enough women role models in STEM sectors. One of the aims of the partnership is to help dispel these perceptions, and show girls that technology is for everyone. 

Bringing digital skills-focused unit meeting activities into Girlguiding’s programme builds on the charity’s initial partnership launch with Google in 2018, which saw the creation of the Digital Adventure fun badge for Brownies (aged 7-10) and sponsorship of the Digital design badge for Rangers (aged 14-18). Over 15,000 Brownies and Rangers have taken part in the digital skills activities and Digital design badge since the partnership’s launch in 2018, and the expansion to all four guiding sections will provide even more girls with the opportunity to learn how to design technology to help solve challenges.

Peyton, 10, Brownie from Third Apsley End Brownies, said: “I loved trying the new Google activities and learning how to code. It was so much fun! Fixing bugs was hard, but once I tried it a few times, I could do it.” 

Maddie, 23, Girlguiding Advocate, said: “It’s so great to think that there will be these new and exciting activities available for girls and young women to get involved in STEM. Technology plays such a big part in our everyday lives, and women should be involved in its creation. These new activities, developed in partnership with Google, will definitely help inspire girls to get involved, and have lots of fun!”

Nicole McWilliams, Software Engineering Manager at Google, said: “Technology is for everyone and can be made by anyone, which is why girls and young women should be able to pursue their interests in it, and have the opportunity to design and build the technology that impacts their lives. We hope the digital skills activities we’ve created with Girlguiding will inspire even more girls to learn about technology in a  fun way. It’s fantastic seeing the young girls’ faces light up as they begin to understand concepts like coding and  learn more about how technology can help to solve all sorts of problems, from the everyday to the epic.”