Vodafone Ireland highlights gender gap issue with #CodeLikeaGirl student initiative
The first Vodafone Ireland #CodeLikeaGirl workshop. From left: Nadine Clarke, Pauline Skudlarsua, Alannah O’Reilly (Vodafone Ireland), Abbey Corcoran, Jessica McGarry, James Magill (Vodafone Ireland) and Laura Fidgeon. Image: Naoise Culhane

Vodafone Ireland launches #CodeLikeaGirl student initiative

23 Nov 2017

Vodafone Ireland has announced that it will launch a new student programme named #CodeLikeaGirl, which aims to teach teenage girls to code.

Vodafone Ireland has revealed that it is launching a student computer coding programme in partnership with CodeFirst: Girls in a bid to highlight the widening gender gap in STEM.

The workshops take place over the course of one week and are taught by Vodafone employees. The hope is that the project will give female students a good enough foundational knowledge of development programmes and computer languages so that they can build a website upon completion.

The first workshops were run from 6 to 10 November with 20 young women between the ages of 14 to 16 in Cabinteely Community School. Further school programmes have been scheduled across Ireland for 2018.

#CodeLikeaGirl forms part of a global Vodafone partnership with CodeFirst: Girls to provide teenage girls across 26 countries with coding training.

It is the largest international, in-person global coding programme and aims to encourage more young girls to consider a career in STEM in the future by teaching them to build something tangible of which they can be proud.

Earlier this year, UNESCO expressed concern over the widening gender gap in stem in STEM. “Female participation is falling in a field that is expanding globally as its importance for national economies grows, penetrating every aspect of daily life.”

The above animated promotional video released by Vodafone serves to highlight the many contributions of women in STEM throughout history, including the likes of Ada Lovelace and Bletchley Park codebreaker Joan Clarke.

James Magill, human resources director at Vodafone Ireland, said: “In recent years, there has been significant progress in closing the global gender gap in various aspects of society.

“However, in many countries, the gap is widening in STEM careers. #CodeLikeaGirl aims to help close that gap here in Ireland and show young girls that a future in STEM is an exciting prospect.

“We know that coding is going to play an even bigger role in careers in the future so it’s important that we empower young women to learn this skill while at school.”

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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