For every one woman studying computing, there are just over five men: the lowest proportion of female computing students in recent years. With so few girls graduating with these vital technical skills, the UK economy is missing a number of opportunities for growth, innovation and success.
The Tech Women UK project seeks to develop a two-way street leadership programme that focuses on women leaders in the Further Education sector engaging with women in the technology industry.
The programme is designed to build on good practice developed in the USA in relation to women in technology. (“Women who choose computer science. What really matters: the critical role of encouragement and exposure” Google May 2014) Positive action has taken place led by the ‘tech’ industry in the USA in partnership with education who are committed to reversing the negative trends around women in technology. The economic rationale in the ‘tech industry’ is that by achieving a more diverse workforce this leads to better products for diverse users.
The aim and impact of these collaborative arrangements will be:
- To engage women leaders and practitioners in developing positive strategies within their institution to encourage female staff and students into programming and the technology industry;
- Develop a clear line of sight to work in the technology industry for the whole institution;
- To drive up the effective use of technologies in teaching and learning by emulating best practice in the technology industry;
- To develop an ongoing dialogue between the sector and the technology industry to provide internships and mentorship for women staff to improve understanding and engagement.