Computer Hardware lecturer Nadia Arab is attempting to inspire and encourage the next generation of young women to reach their potential as a mentor with The Girls Network.

The Girls Network, a one-to-one mentoring scheme established by secondary school

teachers in 2013, operates in partnership with secondary schools and colleges across England to match girls aged 14-19 with a female volunteer mentor. All mentors go through an application process and are trained by The Network in mentoring and safeguarding. Once the girls chosen for the programme complete their year-long mentoring journey, they graduate and access membership to a lifelong ambassador programme.

The scheme is based on research showing that conversations and personal relationships could have a big impact on challenging stereotypes and expectations. Girls need greater access to opportunities, but also the confidence to seize those opportunities, as well as the skills to thrive in them.

Over 1,000 girls participate each year in the programme. The Girls Network states that 93% of girls last year said their mentor had improved their confidence, and 96% believe their mentor has helped them feel more positive about the future.

Nadia states why she became a mentor: “Specialising in a male-dominated subject such as Computer Hardware, I’ve long been aware of the work that needs to be done to encourage and inspire young women to succeed in careers they might not have considered were available to them.

“The Girls Network is doing great work to build the confidence and self-belief in girls to thrive in their chosen fields, whilst introducing them to female role models who challenge stereotypes and expectations.”

For more information on The Girls Network, go to