Below you will find some best practice examples of initiatives seeking to encourage more women and girls to pursue a career or studies in ICT. We invite you to use them as inspiration for your own initiatives.
Objective: To encourage female undergraduates to consider a career in IT
Format: A one day symposium for 150 people, held at a different University every year. Women are invited from all universities all over the UK. The day includes inspirational speakers who are women working in the IT industry. The day is sponsored by the BCS and by large IT companies such as Google, Microsoft, CISCO etc. There is a poster competition so that those women who are considering a life in ICT research can have what is possibly their first opportunity to create and run a poster session. The posters are judged and prizes are awarded. There is a huge networking session at the end of the day for all of the young women to meet the presenters and to make new friends and contacts. Funding is awarded to women for travel bursaries to ensure that women can attend from all over the country.
Audience: Graduates, Undergraduates and postgraduates. Females who have studied ICT/IT in some form in their university career. Tutors.
Outcomes: The feedback from the events is VERY positive with young women saying annually that they have been amazingly inspired by what they have seen. The Lovelace is on its 10th year, audience size grows every year, and we believe it is being effective in ensuring that young women see the positive side of roles in IT.
Objective: To encourage young people, especially female undergraduates to consider IT as their future work career.
Format: UTmessan is twofold and takes place in the beginning of February each year;
Friday - a whole day conference for the IT industry and a big exhibition. There are many tracks at the conference; a track for top level managers and CEOs, a track for CTOs and technical managers and a track for programmers and IT professionals. Also we will give the IT award at a special ceremony at the end of the day.
Saturday - the fair will be open on Saturday too with free entrance where all of the biggest IT companies in Iceland will take part. The fair is open to the public and there we hope to see professionals and families alike take part. We have planned events that hopefully will generate an interest of the younger generations in the IT branch.
The event is a joint collaboration between Ský (The Icelandic Computer Society), The University of Iceland, Reykjavik University and The Federation of Icelandic Industries.
Audience: On Saturday UTmessan focuses to get all the families in Iceland to come and see what the tech industry has to offer. We show a lot of student work and also give the guests the opportunity to try themselves to program and try other tech activities like 3D printing, VR, Hololens and other new technology. Sometimes we have special contest for girls like taking apart a computer and put it together in the fastest time. All the big IT companies in Iceland try to have their tech female employees in the booths to show that we have a lot of women already working with IT.
Outcomes: UTmessan has grown significant since it started in 2011. Now we get over 3% of all the Icelandic population on Saturday and the girls are also coming and very interested in what the IT sector in Iceland has been doing.
Objective: To teach 11 to 13 years old girls that technology is not "just for boys".
Format: One afternoon per week at school, for a grand total of 45 hours divided in 16/20 meetings. The girls enter the "Girls Code It Better" club and are led through a path where they learn to create websites, to develop web apps and videogames, to build robots with Arduino, to design and print objects with a 3D printer. The 53 schools involved in this project are located in 27 towns in Northern Italy, and for each school 20 girls are selected for the club, in strict order of registration. Each club is led by a Coach Teacher, usually a teacher of the school, who helps the girls in understanding the digital technologies, and a Coach Maker, who helps the girls with the technical tools used.
Audience: Girls from 11 to 13, attending the first, second, and third year of the lower secondary school. Tutors.
Outcomes: The feedback from the girls who attended this activity in the past two years is VERY positive, for many of them it was empowering and it allowed them to understand their potential both in working in groups and in using technology for their projects.
Objective: Initiated by two mothers; to share technological informations that they learn, study smartphone games for their children, apply applications, evaluate the increment of technological products, research and solve mothers' technological problems together, and occasionally make technological seminars facilitated for mothers.
Format: It is a website that is very popular among women and mothers in Turkey. Through website, the founders share technological updates, new applications, programs and devices. They organize events such as coding seminars –hour of code- (they cooperate with “code.org”) for women and their children. The aim is to attract mothers who want to cope with their children as well as 21st century.
Audience: Mothers, no age restriction, as well as all women who want to update themselves on technology and informatics.
Outcomes: As this website became popular, it found itself some space on the national media. The founders were invited to one of the most popular TV talk shows in the country and some interviews had been published in national newspapers. They are very successful on encouraging mothers that they can learn technology and they can cope with their children as well as in some ways maybe make a living out of it.
Objective: Django Girls is a non-profit organization that helps women who want to create their own website.
Format: Django Girls is a non-profit organization and a community that empowers and helps women to organize free, one-day programming workshops by providing tools, resources and support. We are a volunteer run organization with hundreds of people contributing to bring more amazing women into the world of technology. They are making technology more approachable by creating resources designed with empathy. During each of their events, 30-60 women build their first web application using HTML, CSS, Python and Django.
Audience: All women who own a laptop and are attracted to programming can easily sign up for the events.
Outcomes: Providing opportunities, such as free, accessible programming workshops for women and creating educational materials available online; and promoting the image of female software engineer by driving advertising campaigns to encourage women to join the IT field and highlighting existing role models.
Objective: Girls learn to program a videogame in Python, including audio and graphics, by working in groups.
Format: A Summer Camp that lasts for four weeks in June-July, where girls learn how to program in Python. The programming course starts from the basics and leads the participants to apply their creativity while working in groups to design and develop a complete videogame. The Camp activities also include meetings with local businessmen/businesswomen who present the job market to the participants. The "Ragazze Digitali" Summer Camp is aimed at girls from all secondary schools in Modena, and it is held at Modena University, at the Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”. The girls are followed by university teachers, tutors, and researchers, who lead them in their learning experience, and in having a first taste of the University way of life.
Audience: Girls from 16 to 18, attending the third and fourth year of the upper secondary schools. University teachers and tutors. Local businessmen and businesswomen.
Outcomes: The feedback from the girls is really positive: many of them were very shy and unsure, but this experience taught them to work in groups, be creative in areas they would never have considered before, and become much more confident in their potential and abilities.