In light of the global pandemic, InnovateHer has launched a coaching and technology programme for girls aged 13-16 which will help train the next generation of innovators, as well as reduce isolation for girls throughout the lockdown.
Although the Coronavirus pandemic forced the Liverpool-based social enterprise which works to eradicate gender inequality in tech, to close its doors, the new InnovateHer online platform enables young girls to continue to learn and be inspired to pursue careers in technology as well as connect them with like-minded girls in their communities.
The six week ‘Foundation in Tech for Good’ course provides girls with an opportunity to continue to learn tech skills safely whilst in isolation. Girls are given the task of solving real-world problems related to the current global pandemic using technology. The programme contains content led by inspiring industry mentors, accessing coaching sessions online each week as part of a cohort of like-minded girls.
Co-founder Chelsea Slater says that ‘We’ve always wanted to launch our educational offer online as it enables us to extend our reach to those living outside of the North West. With everyone being told to stay at home now we felt we needed to do something positive to support girls in isolation, so it felt like the right time to develop an online course.’
Developed in collaboration with industry partners, learners will be guided by a coach through weekly challenges, giving them an opportunity to develop new skills such as design, prototyping, teamwork and pitching. Girls will build their confidence and self-belief through connecting with industry role models and other like-minded girls.
Students will enter their tech solutions into a competition, to be in with a chance of winning work experience at one of InnovateHer’s member organisations, which includes organisations such as SONY, Very group, Liverpool Football Club, The Co-op, Code Computer Love and many more.
Chris Tomlinson, CEO of the Co-Op Academies Trust – who are sponsoring four female students from Co-op Academic Bebington to participate in the first online cohort – notes that ‘The tech industry was facing a significant challenge prior to the lockdown in encouraging young female students to consider a career in technology. Putting InnovateHer’s fantastic programmes online will hopefully encourage many more to get involved.’
InnovateHer are also exploring partnerships to provide devices to those girls who may not currently be able to access the course from home, and providing some free places to those who cannot afford to pay for the programme.
Companies who want to help create more inclusive and equitable workplaces are also able to directly support the work of InnovateHer through membership, directly supporting their work through paid subscription.
To find out more about taking part or enquire about partnerships, you can visit www.innovateher.co.uk
By Ellen Jones