Modern Muse – An innovative twist on mentoring young women

Young people have limited access to mentors from within their educational institution, but in recent years, the world of work has helped to fill this void. Students studying at Key Stage 4 (KS4), aged 14 – 16 years old, are given the opportunity to experience life in the workplace by spending a couple of weeks with a business. This intervention provides an essential opportunity to understand life outside of the classroom, tasting what it would be like working in a career that they want to pursue.

Until ten years ago, the UK government supported the National Work Experience programme by providing funds to schools and local Education Business Partnerships, to jointly deliver these placements – ensuring young people had the opportunity to gain workplace skills. When the government removed the funding, schools and colleges that wanted to continue with this provision would have to find the money themselves – or just stop providing this service to their students.

Modern Muse helps fill the gap

For young people to succeed in their chosen career, work-related mentoring and workplace experience is vital. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) manages the application process for British universities, and according to their website, two-thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work and develop general business awareness. It’s also worth noting that one in three employers felt that applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career or job.

But Modern Muse, the not-for-profit social enterprise wanted to inspire the next generation of female business leaders and entrepreneurs and asked Keytree to create a platform that would provide young women with access to expert guidance from experienced businesswomen.

The platform showcases female role models, known as Muses who provide girls with an insider’s view of their day-to-day work lives with the companies they work for, their responsibilities, career paths and educational journeys.

Keytree UX expert and registered Muse Amanda Cano attended the #beamodernmuse #WomenDoTech initiative, held in London in February 2016 and was also a guest at the launch of Modern Muse in the Houses of Parliament in March 2016. Amanda was heavily involved in the project and was delighted to see the dream become a reality.

Amanda said: “As a woman working in technology, I understand the importance of having role models who can inspire and help guide you through your career questions and choices. When I started out in my career, I was very lucky that the government at that time was funding a course to help women in technology acquire programming and electronics skills and also provided mentorship and work experience. Mentorship was not offered at my education institutions, and I think it made a huge impact with helping my career decisions and progress.”

“The Modern Muse platform will contribute to providing young girls with access to a much larger network of potential career mentors than was available when I was making my career choices.”

I’m delighted that not only does Modern Muse provide me with the opportunity to help girls who want to follow a similar career path, but also that I played a small part in helping Modern Muse and everywoman to realise the vision

On the road to success

There are now more than 1,000 registered Muses and the site also profiles partnering corporate organisations who offer work experience and career opportunities. The journey that was started by Everywoman Ltd in 2010 is making inroads in the aim of showing every girl everywhere that an interesting, challenging and rewarding career is within her grasp.

More details about the project is located in our case study section and Keytree encourages women from all over the world to share their career stories and be part of the collective force that’s inspiring girls everywhere – find out more at www.modernmuse.org