Aviva and Beyond the Classroom are joining forces with a simple task – to inspire girls to get into the IT industry. This means new school initiatives.
Women in tech is a hot but delicate topic that often seems to derailed. The reasons are different, but usually the main issue is the lack of understanding the issue. Aviva seems to realize this and has aimed it’s new initiative in a very positive ways. Chika Aghadiuno, vice chair of Aviva’s women’s network, says it is important to make young people aware of potential careers, ComputerWeekly reports.
“While we are genuinely a global organisation and in many ways we are very diverse, I think we all acknowledge there is a bit more we can do to make ourselves accessible to this pool of young people”, says Aghadiuno.
Aviva has partnered with social enterprise Beyond the Classroom in a new effort to educate young girls in London about the career opportunities in the technology industry. It was a first event of this type that spread over three days in the Aviva Digital Garage. Eight girls from underprivileged backgrounds took part in the workshops and by the end of the event each girl had to present an idea for an app to solve a real-world problem.
The workshops showed the girls the full typical development lifecycle. They also received help with the development of their pitch. The girls, aged between 11 and 16 years old, split into two three teams to develop their ideas and learn more about coding, product development and etc.
“What they thought would be useful and better for them was if this was automatic, so the parents would be able to track where the child was without the child having to stop and take the effort to text them all the time,” says Aghadiuno.
One team pitched an app to inform users of activities and events in the local area. One girl, who made the third team on he own, offered an app to support users through tough situations with options to report bullying, family problems and etc. The winning team offered an app to help parents track their children while they are out without needing to “constantly text them”.
Aviva’s work with Beyond the Classroom is designed to “help children to see there is a connection” between digital leisure time activities and possible future careers, Aghadiuno said. The two organizations are happy with the results. They note that girls in general are very into technology, but don’t view it as a possible career. It is this exact misconception that the organizations want to solve and to show the girls that not only they can develop new technologies, they can turn their abilities into a career.
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / NYC Media Lab