Endesa volunteers promote “STEM” careers and female participation as part of the Orienta-T project

Published on Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities; informing students about the job opportunities, which are some of the most demanded professions on the job market; and promoting female leadership in this sector. Those are the main objectives of the “Orienta-T” programme implemented by the Junior Achievement Foundation that Endesa participated in, and whose second edition took place and concluded several days ago.

The programme is intended for 14-16 year-old students and Secondary Education teachers, and seeks to create a distinguished space for professional development, through a series of events that combine inspiring personal and professional stories from volunteers, as well as practical workshops.

In the two editions, 35 volunteers from Endesa have brought the world of sciences to 7,657 Secondary School students (14-16 years-old), from different schools in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and A Coruña.

The volunteers are professionals in the fields of science, engineering, technology and mathematics, and shared with the students their experiences in these vocations and careers through their personal stories. After the presentations, the students were able to attend practical workshops, focussed on self-awareness and decision-making, while the teachers enjoyed a space to meet other teachers and counsellors to analyse the tools they have, the problems they face and the possible solutions. In this way, the programme strives to provide teachers with didactic material so that they can work in their educational centres, and thus, promote the multiplier effect of the initiative.

STEM Disciplines

In the past decade, the number of university registrations in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has dropped 25% in Europe, and 40% in Spain. However, the demand for positions in these types of careers in the European Union is expected to grow to 14% of the overall demand for professionals in 2020, versus the current value of 3%*. However, as the technological innovation becomes essential for future development, growth and progress in both the social and economic environments, there is a pressing need to stimulate interest among the new generations in the STEM studies.

On top of that, there is a strong gender bias in Spain. According to the OECD, the proportion of female students may be reduced by up to 12% in areas like information and communication technologies.

For that reason, at Endesa we support programmes like Orienta-T and we promote initiatives like the “International Day of Girls in STEM”, which is included within the frame of the company’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy. With this baseline framework, last May we held a workshop for 55 girls between the ages of 14 and 16 at Endesa’s Open Power Space. The event for Secondary School students from three schools in Madrid was intended to stimulate interest in STEM studies specifically in these new generations.  The objective was to give the girls a first-hand account of the different jobs that they can hold in the digital environment and the career opportunities they have in the different technical studies, as well as to shed light on the world of working at a large company so that they can find out in more detail the possibilities offered.

Corporate Volunteering at Endesa

Orienta-T also has an additional component and that is corporate volunteering. It is one of many programmes launched by Endesa, because we consider that participating in a corporate volunteering programme is a very intense and vital experience. It promotes the pride of forming part of the company and helps to develop talent and the skills that are highly useful in the day-to-day environment, for both the job and professional markets. Many good things help to implement these initiatives that are synonymous with success. And the figures speak for themselves: 950 Endesa employees have been able to experience it up close in the last three years, and thanks to them, 2,186 people have been helped, of which the majority are young students, unemployed people or people in a vulnerable situation.

Currently, the company is focussing its efforts on different types of initiatives and projects: in the first place, it carries out projects to help people at risk of social exclusion, so that they develop their knowledge and abilities, allowing them to be reincorporated into the job market. Here, there are projects such as “Sabes más si compartes lo que sabes” (You know more if you share what you know”,  “Energía para el futuro” (Energy for the future),  “Hablemos sin barreras” (Let’s talk without barriers) and “Proyecto Coach” (Coach project).

Another line of action of Endesa’s corporate volunteering are the projects focussed on helping female victims of gender violence. This is the case of the training programme with which Endesa, in collaboration with the Integra Foundation, has helped women since 2016. In addition, separate editions have been held in Seville, Barcelona, and starting this year, in Madrid as well.

 

Lastly, we must point out the line of action most connected with the Company’s business and activity, which is carried out through the “Energy Volunteering” project, intended for homes that are in a situation of energy poverty, which operates on two levels: through recommendations so that these families optimise their electricity bill, and lower their energy consumption; and also, through the identification of risky situations in their electrical installations, in order to later be corrected by certified installers.