On Ada Lovelace Apps for Good, Capgemini and Tech Partnership are teaming up to launch the TechFuture Women’s Network. In this blog Apps for Good’s co-CEO Debbie Forster explains how the Network seeks to tackle the gender imbalance in the technology industry.
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and for us it’s the perfect time to look towards the next generation of women in STEM. We are proud to team up with Capgemini and the Tech Partnership today to launch the TechFuture Women’s Network, an initiative which will use the energy of female role models to alter perceptions of the industry, and help to build a more diverse and tech savvy workforce.
We’re asking women working in the digital and technology sector to join the TechFuture Women’s Network, a community of professionals taking part in programmes that promote technology in schools.
We’re delighted that the first opportunity available to members of the TechFuture Women’s Network is to join our Apps for Good Expert Community. Members of our Expert Community share their skills and knowledge with our student teams as they develop ideas for apps – getting loads of energy, inspiration and new perspectives in return.
Industry role models can be an important part of careers advice and this is especially true for technology. The technology sector is complex and constantly in flux, so it can be difficult to get beyond job titles. Having someone visit the classroom or connect online and speak about their day-to-day job or how their company works can widen students’ perspectives. This is especially important for your female students. Although uptake of computing A-levels by girls has increased this year by around 45 per cent, they lag far behind boys, making up just 8% of this year’s A-levels (that’s only 456 girls or 0.1 per cent of the entire A-level cohort). Part of the problem is that girls still see computing as ‘geeky’ and ‘male’, but you can help counter these stereotypes by establishing female role models for both your male and female students. This will contribute towards a new “norm” in the eyes of both genders and help the girls who then make these choices feel more accepted. We hope that the increasing number of women who join our Expert Community via the TechFuture Women’s Network will help us establish this new norm.
Over the next few months the Network will grow to include more opportunities for TechFuture Women to mentor and inspire young people by showing them the range of opportunities within the technology sector. By joining the Network here you will automatically become an Apps for Good Expert as well as receive updates and invitations to future initiatives. We look forward to working with you to inspire the next generation of women in tech!