• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Scientific choice for girls

RETAILERS are involved in a new drive to encourage more females into science from an early age by persuading girls to buy chemistry sets in toy shops.

It is feared sexist store layouts can put girls off playing with certain toys, leaving parents to buy the products only for their boys.

Females account for fewer than one in 10 engineering professionals and there is a shortage of skilled workers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors.

Marketing of construction toys and how toys are packaged by gender are also the focus of plans.

Liberal Democrat business minister Jenny Willott, who met top toy makers and retailers yesterday, called for children to be able to make their own decisions, without having categories decided by adults influencing them.

"What I want is children to make their own choices," she said.

Her comments follow calls from parents. Earlier this year Marks & ­Spencer pledged its toys would be gender-neutral by this spring after a high-profile campaign.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.