A major technology company has announced that it is partnering with an organisation to deliver a series of free coding workshops for young women.
Microsoft’s flagship store in Sydney has partnered with Code Like a Girl, which runs a series of tech-focused events and workshops around Australia.
The workshops, which are aimed at addressing the need for skilled female ICT specialists, will be available to girls aged 6-15 years old from Monday 9th July to Sunday 15th July 2018.
According to recent industry research, in the last 2 years over 40,000 ICT jobs have been created in Australia – but only 13% of girls study STEM in grades eleven and twelve, and just 1 in 10 enrolments to IT based degrees are girls. Combined, women account for less than 24% of the current IT workforce.
The newly-announced workshops will be conducted by instructors with practical experience in the field, giving girls the opportunity to get hands on with technology, learning an array of skills from how to build websites, to how to create digital art and games, all using coding techniques and programs.
Jessica Erhart, community development specialist at the flagship Microsoft Store in Sydney, said that by providing young girls an opportunity to develop an active interest in coding, the partnership can “help deliver a real impact to the future of the Australian technology industry”.
“By providing young girls an opportunity to develop an active interest in coding, we can help deliver real impact to the future of the Australian technology industry,” Erhart said.
“We see from our customers every day that there is a strong desire from girls to learn how to code and Microsoft Store is committed to creating an innovative learning environment where every young girl from any background, feels included, inspired, supported and empowered.”
The workshops include tutorials on how to build and design a website, create personalised games from scratch, mix play with learning and creatively code by drawing and decorating their own digital art.
Code Like a Girl CEO and co-founder, Ally Watson, highlighted the importance of prominent brands like Microsoft actively supporting the education of young girls in STEM.
“This gives the next generation a chance to experience the amazing world of coding and tech,” Watson said.