A North East worker has called for an increase in the number of women and men in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Emma Garrick works at a project called Think Physics as a careers and employer specialist.
Ms Garrick focuses her work on schools and their pupils to encourage males and females to think about studying and having a career within the STEM industry.
“I think we should be increasing the numbers of women and men who are going into STEM.
“It’s about having a balanced workforce. We can all bring something different to a job role.
“We have a huge STEM shortage. We all tackle problems in a different way – mixed teams work very well together.
“It’s just as important that we have a mixed gender team,” she said.
Think Physics promotes gender equity within STEM.
It’s aim is to encourage both male and female students to consider the pathways that physics may lead them on.
The project also focuses on engineering and other STEM subjects.
A team of academics and students help to deliver workshops, careers-focussed assemblies and after-school STEM clubs to partner schools in Newcastle.
Ms Garrick, added: “What’s a job for boys? What’s a job for girls? There is [an] opportunity to make a difference. There is [an] opportunity there to travel. There is opportunity there to work on great new initiatives [and] great new innovations.”
Another initiative within the North East is Girls and Gadgets.
It is an annual computing conference ran by and at Teesside University in Middlesborough.
There is a focus on computing science, games and animation.
According to Teesside University, there has been a drop in the number of students taking computing-based subjects at degree level.
Alison Brown, the leader of Girls and Gadgets and computing lecturer at the university, said: “Most employers now recognise that they get far better outputs from a mixed gender team, than they do from a single gender team.
“We have to break stereotypes and I think there’s more progress now than there has been ever since I’ve started Girls and Gadgets in 2008.”
Ms Brown, added: “The challenges of a career in STEM are just tremendous and they are so incredibly creative.
“From a social perspective, the fact that we need a mixed perspective on new developments that are coming through. When you look at the IT industry, everybody is aware it’s changing really rapidly.
“But to keep that changing we need that input of fresh ideas and different ideas.
“At the moment it’s about levelling the playing field, I think.”
According to WISE Campaign statistics, there were fewer men and women graduating from STEM subjects last year.
An Engineering UK report also found that at GCSE and A Level “we need more young people studying STEM subjects.”
Emma Garrick, from Think Physics concluded: ”We really need more the merrier.”
The call for an increase comes as the UK celebrates Big Science Week.
You can watch the video of Emma talking below.