Girls' Day Hungary
Girls' Day is a project based on organizing a yearly interactive open-doors day during which interested companies, universities, research institutions and museums receive high-school girl students in order to present their offer to them and illustrate STEM advanced study options and other career opportunities.
In Hungary, the event takes place every year on the last Thursday of April thanks to the Association of Hungarian Women in Science. Similar actions take place in 17 other European countries throughout the year.
The main goal of the Girls’ Day programme is to introduce the benefits of a STEM-oriented education to girls and to encourage them to follow career choices related to engineering, or information technology, among others. It also aims at supporting and meeting the needs of industry, both small and medium enterprises and multinational firms, by motivating girls to gain more access to occupational areas that were traditionally assigned to men.
Coordinator: Association of Hungarian Women in Science, www.nokatud.hu/
Target groups: general public, parents, primary school students, secondary school students, teachers
Topic: Computer science, Electronics, Energy, Engineering, Information technology, Maths, Software engineering, Technology
Start year: 2012
Contact person: Beata Szoboszlai beata.szoboszlai (at) nokatud.hu
The project is inspired by previous European projects working on gender equality topics, such as “Science: it’s a girl thing” and “Girls in ICT” as well as other international initiatives allowing girls to visit their parent’s workplaces on a yearly basis.
Although it is a recent initiative, Hungarian Girls’ Day already has some impressive outcomes. The first Girls’ Day hosted in Hungary (2012) provided the following results:
- 11 companies and 2 universities hosted the programme.
- Almost 300 girls participated, mostly from high schools located in Budapest.
- 77 articles and other news items were published in national and international media.
The third Girls’ Day hosted in Hungary (2014) improved on the previous results:
- 49 companies, 10 universities (Engineering and Computing faculties), 4 research institutes and 1 museum from 15 different Hungarian cities hosted the programme.
- 1000 participants were registered from 250 different schools.
- A wide campaign was run to reach the potential host organisations, schools, parents and the girls themselves. Thousands of brochures were sent to interested parties and several articles were published in the print media and on the Web. Besides the website of the Hungarian Girls’ Day (www.lanyoknapja.hu), a Facebook profile and fan group were also created (https://www.facebook.com/lanyoknapja). In 2014, the Facebook fan group of “Girls’ Day” had increased by nearly 2,000 users and the official website of the programme had more than 3,000 registered participants.
Schools which want to participate in the project must:
- Inform their students about the project and encourage them to participate in it.
- Publish the information materials provided by the organizers in the school newspaper, website or other social media assets.
- Draw up a set of “lessons learned” during the action in order to use them in the preparation for the event in the following year.
During the Girls’ Day, the Association for Women in Science provides some of their members as well and other volunteers to assist during the day’s activities. The girls who visit the different educational centres will be guided by an escort who will lead them through the visit and assist them in formulating questions and interpreting the information obtained. The crew will be prepared in order to meet the institution’s needs. Teachers are also encouraged to participate as escorts, by contacting the programme organizers.