Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has announced its joining Code First: Girls’ campaign to help 20,000 women in the UK and Ireland code by 2020.
Over the past three years, Code First: Girls 20:20 Campaign has taught more than 5,000 women how to code for free, and their alumnae have been hired by a range of local and global firms, including ThoughtWorks, BlaBlaCar and NASA as software developers, information security experts, digital strategists and robotics engineers.
Through their involvement in the campaign, BofAML will provide financial support and their technologists will help train Code First: Girls students.
Training will also be rolled out to the bank’s own female employees who are interested in learning to code. This will open up other career opportunities for these women, and will enhance their understanding of the ways in which technology applies to their existing roles.
The UK’s tech sector is one of the fastest-growing globally, with London accounting for around 80 per cent of all venture capital tech funding last year.
Despite this, there is a stark underrepresentation of women in the UK’s technology sector. According to the Office of National Statistics’ most recent figures, in 2017 only 3.9 per cent of tech and telco professionals in the UK were female programmers and software developers.
Through this campaign, BofAML is hoping to give even more young women the aspirations, skills and confidence to pursue a technology career, and create a strong female pipeline of female talent for business-critical positions.
Speaking about the partnership, Allison Krill, Head of EMEA Global Banking and Markets Technology at BofAML, said, “Technology innovation is key to driving transformation within business, but the need for diverse technical talent is not yet met by the number of qualified people entering the workforce.”
“We are therefore very proud to be supporting Code First: Girls 20:20 campaign.”
“Our employees look forward to working closely with the participants to share their knowledge, skills and advice to help bridge the gap for early career switchers into tech.”
Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First: Girls added, “We are excited to build on our existing partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.”
“The lack of tangible role models for women looking to build a career in tech creates a psychological barrier to entry, and through this partnership, we are working hard to put an end to that.”
“We look forward to working with them to both build and tap into a talent pool of incredible women looking to develop their careers in tech, as well as to help women understand what tech-oriented careers are available to them.”
“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is an innovative company committed to diversity, and shares many common goals with our organisation.”
“We are delighted to have them on board.”