To help women working in technology inspire a new generation, Capgemini, Apps for Good and Tech Partnership have launched the TechFuture Women’s Network. The aim of the network is to address the gender imbalance within the technology sector by a variety of initiatives.
TechFuture Women’s Network
Research shows that women are still significantly under-represented in technology. To help close the gender gap within the technology sector, education movement Apps for Good, employer organisation the Tech Partnership, and consultancy Capgemini launched TechFuture Women’s Network. The network uses female role models to encourage more women to apply for technology jobs, change the perceptions of the industry, and advance the process of building a more diverse and tech-savvy workforce.
To reach its goal, the network asks women working in digital and technology roles at all levels to sign up to the TechFuture Women’s Network, and thereby act as a role model and take part in programmes that promote technology in schools. Initiatives include the Apps for Good Expert Community, set up to let experts share skills and knowledge with enthusiastic student teams as they develop ideas for apps, and the TechFuture Girls clubs, which allow women to mentor girls aged 10-14 after school or during lunch breaks.
Commenting on the reason for Capgemini to be involved in the launch of the TechFuture Women’s Network, Michelle Perkins, Director of the Schools Outreach Programme at Capgemini, says: “If we’re to attract talented young people into tech careers, we need to start early, so working with school age children is vital.” According to her, role models are crucial: “We know that nothing is more powerful for young people than seeing real-life success – people who are clearly having enjoyable and worthwhile careers – so we hope that female tech specialists will jump at the chance to act as role models.”
Debbie Forster, co-CEO of Apps for Good, adds: “School students really value their interaction with business people, and the positive modelling they provide adds an extra dimension to the Apps for Good programme. We’re delighted to be working with Capgemini, and the other employers of the Tech Partnership, to encourage mentors to join us in schools.”
Women in STEM
Capgemini is not the only consulting firm that signs partnerships to help close the gender gap in professions generally considered male-dominated, such as roles in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries. Accenture recently agreed a partnership with Girls Who Code to assist young women to secure a career in technology and in addition supports the Girl Geeks Campus, launched to provide female STEM students with opportunities to discover career paths and develop employable skills. Mace for example, a large engineering firm, acts as a member of WISE.