Last week our Senior Frontend Developer Rebecca, CTO Sam and Head of Marketing Bethan headed down to London to celebrate The Tech She Can Charter's first anniversary at the PwC London Riverside office.
In 2018 Netsells became signatories of the Charter along with over 90 other organisations, all of whom have made a commitment to work together to increase the number of women working in technology roles in the UK.
The Charter encompasses a number of initiatives designed to influence policy at a governmental level and create educational change by distributing female-friendly technology lessons for school children and an image overhaul for technology careers.
The celebration event
We started off the evening networking with fellow signatories and Tech She Can representatives overlooking impressive views of Tower Bridge. It was fascinating to hear how other organisations have taken the Charter’s goal of “making women equal partners in creating and developing technology businesses” and used it to drive forward change at a team and organisational level.
After networking, we sat down to hear from Sheridan Ash, Tech She Can founder and Technology Innovation and Women in Technology leader at PwC. She reiterated the goals for the Charter and gave us an overview of the first year results (see below).
We then heard from Sian John MBE, Chief Security Advisor at Microsoft who gave us a flavour of her career working in Cyber Security and her desire to see a change in the stereotypes of people who work in CyberSec. Sian also challenged us to get to the point where women have to “queue for the loo” at technology conferences in general, not just at women in tech events. This for her, would be a sign that real progress has been made!
First year results
At the beginning of 2019 the Charter launched an inclusive technology education pilot named ‘Tech We Can’, with five secondary schools in the Midlands. Tailored female-friendly lesson plans were taught to girls and boys aged 10-13, with early evidence showing they were successfully changing perceptions among both boys and girls about the breadth of technology careers.
- Before the Tech We Can pilot, 45% of the female students involved said they would consider a career in technology. After completing the lesson plans over a six week period, this rose to 65%.
- Before the pilot, only 50% of the students involved could name a famous female working in technology. After completion of the lessons, a total of 81% of students could name a famous female in technology.
The group plans to continue to lobby and work closely closely alongside bodies such as the Department for Education, the Digital Skills Partnership, and Tech Talent Charter.
The work on the ground in schools will also be expanded. New lessons are also being developed and digitised, creating teaching instructions and a digital open-source library to help teachers tailor the learning of their pupils.
Rebecca will be actively contributing to these lessons by collaborating with the Tech She Can team in order to digitise the lessons plans, allowing them to easily be rolled out to schools across the country. Netsells will also help with promotion of these lessons plans across social media in order to help increase the traffic reaching them.
You can watch selected highlights from the evening below.