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The Take a Girl Child to Work Day took place on Thursday, May 28, 2009. This was the seventh year of this initiative by Cell C. It aims to give South Africaís young girls a glimpse of the “world of work” and to inspire them to strive for excellence and to make informed decisions on their future careers. Young girls are often uncertain about the work opportunities when they pursue a career in science and so the C·I·B set out to show the learners how integrated science is with other disciplines.

Four learners from the Swartberg Secondary School, Caledon, were invited to spend a day with female role models at the centre. The four learners were Veronique Kleinsmith, Gaynor Abrahams, Yolandi Palmer and Abigail Williams.

On their arrival, the learners were welcomed with an early-bird coffee in the C·I·Bís Boardroom. After a short introduction, the learners were deployed to various offices, where they were teamed up with women staff of the C·I·B. The careers they explored were very diverse and included interacting with an ecologist, who explained to them the type of questions ecologists ask (and are asked) and the relevance of the science of ecology. Participating girls were also given the chance to work out financial statements with the research manager, and brainstormed a plan for an exhibition with the outreach manager. One of the highlights of the day was the practical session which was facilitated by Charlene Scheepers, who gave them a hands-on experience with the collection of springtails and a peek through the microscope.

The girls asked many questions and were interested in the daily activities and had the greatest admiration for the responsibilities of the C·I·Bís Deputy Director: Operations, Ms Sarah Davies.

With the initiativeís 2009 theme, “Change your world” the C·I·B hoped to enrich the minds of participating girls about the career possibilities for women in science, and to help them make informed decisions about their careers.