The equalities minister visited a Highams Park school today to launch a scheme aimed at tackling gender bias.

Jenny Willott, the women and equalities minister, visited the science department at Highams Park School in Handsworth Avenue to give a speech about the year-long pilot scheme entitled Opening Doors.

Organised by the Institute of Physics and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the scheme will see a taskforce visit schools to encourage girls to pursue careers traditionally dominated by boys.

At this morning's visit, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central said: "No student should feel restricted by their gender.

"Gender stereotypes for too long have stopped girls and women pursuing careers in fields such as engineering, scientific research and manufacturing."

"This is a very exciting project which will shed a light on how teachers and schools can improve the rate of girls taking up science and maths."

Highams Park School is the only school in London to benefit from the scheme after showing a keen interest to host the workshops.

Science teacher Jon Barker said: "Girls in science don't feel it is for them. There are various closed doors and so today was about dispelling stereotypes and trying to open up their minds."


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