If you work in the tech industry around the Liverpool area, you may be aware of the work Liverpool Girl Geeks are doing to help to reduce the gender gap in the tech and IT industry. You may also have caught our tweets announcing we are now a ‘Proud Partner’.

Given that we are now working in Partnership with Liverpool Girl Geeks, we thought we’d expand on the subject a little and tell you the back story of how we came to be involved.

Where it all began

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Mim graduating from the Girl Geeks course

We first became aware of Liverpool Girl Geeks in 2015, when their first coding course took place at Liverpool Science Park. As interconnect/it is based in the same building, Mim was interested in attending and decided to ask the director here (Dave) if the company would finance her attendance on the course. The answer was a resounding yes.

The course ran for six weeks, for two hours after work. Both women and men attended. Some attendees were from companies located within the Science Park, some employed in the surrounding areas, others local students. All joined with the ambition to learn to code; whether that be through idle curiosity, or with the intention of getting a foot onto the ladder for a career in tech. Overall it was a good opportunity to mix with other beginners in an encouraging environment.

Blogging for Liverpool Girl Geeks

Fast forward a year and a half and several recruitment drives later here at interconnect/it, and Dave was pondering on the reason why we have so few female applicants for tech roles. Dave approached Liverpool Girl Geeks to ask if he could write a blog post on the subject, which was posted on their site towards the end of last year.

Our work with Geneva Gender Champions

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Outside the US Mission to the UN, after our workshop with Geneva Gender Champions.

As it happens, around this time we received an invitation from a longstanding client of ours – the US Mission to the UN – to fly to Geneva and lead a workshop exploring the future of Geneva Gender Champions. The project, a new initiative in 2015, is a joint venture between the United Nations Office at GenevaWomen at the Table and the US Mission to the UN. The aim of the initiative is to help create an equal representation of women and men on panels across the UN.

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Mim, Chris and Dave outside the United Nations HQ in Geneva.

We were tasked with the job of building a piece of custom software; a Tracker separate to the public facing WordPress website, to allow ‘Champions’ and their staff to engage with the project, submit their commitments and complete surveys. The results of the surveys would then be used for statistical analysis to determine the success of the initiative. Incidentally, if you’re interested, you can check out their first annual report here.

Our work with Gender Champions is currently ongoing and over the months the project has expanded to become International Gender Champions – due to be launched in New York next month.

Dave felt that working on a project such as this, it was only right we acknowledged and did our own part to reduce the gender gap within our own industry.

Working in Partnership

Back in November, Dave and Mim met with Chelsea from Liverpool Girl Geeks at our office, who was keen to tell us about the Partnership roles they were introducing for 2017. Chelsea shared her journey with Liverpool Girl Geeks, took us back to how it all started and explained her vision for the future. We knew pretty much straight away that this was something we wanted to become involved with and as it turns out, we were the second company to come on board as a ‘Proud Partner’.

So what does this mean for interconnect/it?

Well it means that we support the work of Liverpool Girl Geeks. It means that as a Liverpool based company, we will do what we can to support the team to deliver their mission. As 2017 progresses we hope to find our feet in our role as a Partner, as we start to attend a number of their events.

Our first outing as a Partner was in January, where we attended the round table discussions led by the Digital Creative Board for the Liverpool City Region LEP, for which Liverpool Girl Geeks were facilitating.  All in all the event was a good morning of discussion with others in our industry, exploring the challenges and opportunities we face in this sector.

Check out Interconnect/it.