A New App to Encourage Girls into Traditonal Male Areas of Work? It gets my vote!

mobile phone apps

Twitter is an amazing thing; sometimes it drives you to distraction (think trolls and vile comments) and other times it introduces you to some really interesting people and ideas.

Happily most of the time I am on the latter end of the spectrum and have ‘met’ some really interesting people.

One such person is Hunter Bann who contacted me via Twitter and asked me to vote for her app. Hunter, 26, is a first year design student with the *Open University and had an assignment to create a project on the subject ‘The Workplace’. She decided to design an app for ios and android phones which would encourage 16+ girls to consider traditionally male dominated careers. How brilliant, something practical to combat a long standing issue. (See Women Need Role Models.)

I asked Hunter what prompted her to come up with this idea:
The assignment was to create a product or system to improve the workplace. It seemed everyone thought of a workplace as an office, but I didn’t see that limitation. I love sport – and clearly that doesn’t happen in an office, but is still a job for professionals. So I thought about it for a while and remembered how many times (be it in a bar watching MotoGP, or even in front of teachers at a College I once attended discussing Formula1) I’ve witnessed the idea girls can’t possible know anything about this subject.

Personally, I find it quite fun showing someone up (in this example, with my knowledge of racing, or, with a guy who thinks girls can’t play rugby – I’m pretty sure I’d beat him in a kicking competition any day) but I thought attitudes shouldn’t be like that. I’ve seen too how on Facebook, it now seems to be full of Reality stars and the idea is it’s cool to be slim and dumb. There’s a song by Pink – ‘stupid girls’. It’s a few years old now, but the lyrics are true to this day – ‘what happened to the dream of a girl president? She’s dancing in the video next to 50cent’. So my idea came about- create something that would show positive role models and get rid of the idea some things are for guys and some are for girls.

(And yeah, I realise most of that is about sport. Guess you can tell where my true passion lies!)

What has the response been like so far?
Amazing! I didn’t expect everyone to respond positively but they have. I’ve also been fortunate enough for high profile people to tweet the project; such as Sally Dynevor from Coronation Street, Rachel Riley from Countdown, the Singer Heather Peace, along with a whole bunch of pro athletes and academics – including Mr Mitchell from Educating Yorkshire, that was pretty cool!

How much has social media helped in spreading the idea?
It’s been invaluable. I have spread the campaign mostly from Twitter, and having friends put it on Facebook.

How far do you think you can go with the idea?
I really hope I manage to get the 250 votes I need, and the panel at JISC decide to fund me, so I get to make the app. After that? Who knows! I guess there’s really no limit!

What do you hope to do post degree?
To work with the military or a NGO.

Hunter, I wish you well with your project and ultimate goal; please do let us know how you get on. It’s a simple and brilliant idea (I may have to get an app designed for my own inspiring women…)

If you’d like to see what Hunter has designed, have a look at the video below, which explains all. And if you like the idea she is presenting, do go to this link and vote for her. I have!

Paste this link into your browser if you can’t see the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8w0dK14xAc

*If you’d like to find out more about the excellent Open University, please click this link to go to their website.

RenewYou is my one day course for women, licensed to excellent trainers across the world. I have one licensing event in London in 2014; it’s next month and booking fast. Check out the details.

Image courtesy of Scienceengineering.net

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Posted on May 22nd, 2014 by

3 Responses to “A New App to Encourage Girls into Traditonal Male Areas of Work? It gets my vote!”

  1. Chris Follows says:

    Not a very balanced approach to gender stereotypes …..

    “I’m an anti-feminist. My task, as I see it, is to try to uncover the nature of things, and then deprogram as many people as I can. To encourage people to think from a different angle, to entertain thoughts that are forbidden in our politically correct culture, to educate as many as I can about the hidden nature of society, gender and ideological feminism.”

    “Because of these innate perceptions, when feminists pointed up toward the top of society and showed us mostly men, we didn’t bother to direct our attention down to the bottom of society so we could see the mostly men there, as well. We all saw a glass ceiling, but not a glass cellar, and allowed feminists to convince us that all aspects of society, the formalized and the informal, were male-dominated and male-controlled, and that women, as a class, were utterly powerless and subjugated under this system.”

  2. Hunter says:

    Just an update: The project won the funding from JISC. Updates can be found by following the project blog at ProjectYamina.tumblr.com

    And Chris – Sorry you don’t like the idea. It’s better to act rather than doing nothing. Why don’t you make some suggestions how you think stereotypes can be changed and try some out?

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