Have you ever wondered what it would be like if girls had just as many opportunities as boys? What would it be like if girls and boys worked in the same workplace, together, in equal numbers? Well, we all know that girls can do just as good as boys, and sometimes, even better. Then why not provide them with the opportunities to do so and prove themselves?
Article by Reeth, student grade 8
There is no need to worry, since IVO Rechtspraak and International School Utrecht presents to you, ‘Girl’s Day!’ Girl’s Day is an event organised by IVO Rechtspraak, a STEM and IT company, where they invite girls from different schools to take part in various fun activities organised by the company. It is an event to motivate young girls into taking up STEM and IT as a profession, since only 16% of all STEM and IT workers are women. I was also extremely obliged to be able to be a part of this wonderful event.
First, we went with our groups to a conference hall where we met the (female) CEO of the company. After she came in, she introduced herself and spoke about her company. I was quite surprised when she introduced herself to be the owner of IVO. I wasn’t exactly expecting that, maybe because I haven’t heard of many females who own and have founded a company like IVO. Once she told us about the company, the departments and staff, we left for our first workshops.
For our first workshop, our group went for Local support. All the workshops were designed as escape rooms. In the local support escape room, we learned about how the court and judiciary system runs. We were given hints and name cards and were asked to figure out which member of the court sits where and beside whom. Luckily, it did not take us long until we figured our way out and successfully solved the puzzle.
Next, we were headed for the hacking and cyber security workshop. This, unlike the first one, wasn’t as easy. Here we learned about how the cyber security department works and tries to prevent the company’s system from getting hacked. First, we were asked to decode a coded message, which was quite easy. The next task was to pick a lock. It was fun and challenging at the same time. I was amazed how I managed to unlock the lock. But of course, although it sounds amazing to be able to pick locks, we were requested not to try this elsewhere for obvious reasons. This was one of my personal favorite workshops, because it was fun as well as challenging.
Then, we headed to the communication help desk. Here, we learned about how the staff communicate and work together, with each other. The better the collaboration, the easier it is to solve the tasks. We were given four puzzles that we had to solve to solve the problems of our judge. One of our teammates was on the phone, listening to the problems of the judge while she explained them to us for us to find solutions. I must say, the teammate on the phone has incredible communication skills and thanks to her skill and our collaboration, we solved all the puzzles.
After an amazing lunch, we had all the energy we needed to go for the rest of the day. For our fourth workshop, we had software development. Here, we learned about how they create web pages for the company and protect them from bugs. They told us about simple and complex coding. For the escape room puzzle, we had to look for hints to find out how to protect a file from bugs. Once we found the hint, we had to unlock a chest, where we found how to use the right code to be able to access the required web page. This was also a fun workshop since we learned something new and received candy in the end.
For our final workshop, we went to design. This was also one of my favourites, as it was extremely fun and we had to work together and design ideas, to solve problems. First, we had to search for different pieces of a puzzle to find out what the problem was. Then, once we found out the problem, we talked to a judge to find out what was troubling her and designed ideas for her to help solve her problem.
A real judge
Finally, after we were done with all our amazing workshops and learning so much about IVO, IT and STEM, we met a real judge, with whom we talked about her profession, what she deals with every day and how she makes decisions in the court room. We asked her tons of several types of questions, to which we received elaborate answers, and we were also asked to fill in a second form. Finally, after we were finished, we had a little thank you speech by one of the staff members and received goodie bags with lots of lovely gifts in it.