The underrepresentation of women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) is a significant issue, reflecting cultural, educational and structural inequalities. This gap is more than a challenge for women; it’s a loss for societal and innovative progression. Diverse workforces are key to innovation, decision-making, and problem-solving, especially in the digital era that demands technical skills, creativity and critical thinking.

Globally, women comprise only 35% of STEM higher education students, with a mere 3% in engineering. In the European Union, women represented just 25% of researchers in 2015. This gender disparity requires strategic and early interventions, as girls tend to drift away from STEM interests post age 12.

FabConnectHer aims to close the gender gap in STEAM, creating an ecosystem where future female innovators are not only inspired but also equipped with skills and networks to excel. Utilizing Fab Labs – innovative hubs for digital fabrication and technology – the project strives to establish an inclusive culture where girls and women are equally represented and empowered. Our goal is to create a transformative educational ecosystem through inventive learning paths, mentorship and support networks.  

FabConnectHer, encompassing organisation from the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Iceland, brings diverse cultural contexts to address the gender gap in STEAM. Fab Labs serve as the project’s foundation, offering not just state-of-the-art equipment but also a safe, inclusive environment for young girls and women to innovate freely.

The project’s main aim is to empower future female innovators in STEAM through education, reemployment, or entrepreneurship:

  • Creating flexible, high-quality materials for VET systems, including three teaching programs for different age groups.
  • Offering mentorship opportunities by pairing girls with women STEAM professionals.
  • Using real-world examples to inspire and activate learners.
  • Facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange among FabConnectHer educators.

The project is currently in its initial research phase. Stay tuned for forthcoming updates.

Project Partners

D'Lab (Firda)
Learning Hub Friesland
The Enterprise Lab (Creative Spark)
Fab Lab León (Fundación Telice Magnetic Anomaly)
VIVA Lab Porto (Tinker City Associação)
Fab Lab Reykjavik

Project Funders