Liverpool Girl Geeks are partnering with Playstation® (Sony Interactive Entertainment) this year to inspire more teenage girls to enter the tech sector. Playstation are sponsoring a 6 week Bootcamp programme which will be held at the Studio School in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, designed and delivered with support from the local creative and digital sector.
A research study undertaken in 2016 by the University of Roehampton uncovered a widening gender imbalance in the numbers of girls studying computer sciences in schools; only 20% of pupils taking the subject at GCSE are girls, dropping to just 10% at A Level. Overall the number of girls learning about technology in schools fell by 12% in 2015. Liverpool Girl Geeks have designed their teen programmes as a direct response to these issues; to engage and inspire girls between the ages of 11 and 16, and to showcase the potential career options in the tech sector.
During 2016 the Girl Geeks ran a 8 week coding Academy for teens which attracted 90 applications for just 15 places. Girls travelled from as far as Llandudno to attend the weekly sessions, which focused on teaching the girls how to create their own websites. As well as teaching the girls coding skills, the course provided girls with opportunities to meet other like minded girls and to grow their confidence. One parent said: “I’ve been amazed by what my daughter has achieved during her 8 weeks at the Girl Geek Academy. I saw a real improvement in my daughter’s confidence and self belief. I’m thrilled that my daughter was given the opportunity and would recommend it to anyone.”
This year the Girl Geeks have also launched a new ‘Tech for Teens’ series which are monthly drop in sessions at Liverpool’s Studio School, supported by the Big Lottery Fund. They aim to attract over 400 girls to the sessions throughout the year. The workshops are for girls aged between 11 and 16 and are open to all, including those that have previously been on a Girl Geeks course. It will enable the Girl Geeks to continue to support and mentor girls throughout the year. The company also plans to run further teen Academies in 2017, in partnership with FACT.
Jo Morfee, director at Liverpool Girl Geeks, said:
“We believe that our teen programmes are an essential part of the longer term strategy to tackle the current gender imbalance and skills gap in the technology sector. The digital and tech sector is continuously evolving and as a result there are so many fantastic job opportunities out there. These girls are the future of tech and it is so rewarding to be able to work with them closely to inspire and support them into the industry. ”
Michelle Tilley, Senior Release Manager at Playstation® commented:
“There is an gender imbalance within our technology sector and we need to take action now to ensure a more balanced and inclusive industry for the future. The Games Industry is an amazing place to work so we should actively encourage young women to join it by inspiring, championing and empowering them to achieve their dreams. I believe by supporting Liverpool Girl Geeks we are working towards this culture change.”
For more information about this year’s programme for teens see http://www.liverpoolgirlgeeks.