This year when I was asked if I would like to lead the GSMA efforts to celebrate International Girls in ICT Day and I jumped at the opportunity to lead on a project I am particularly passionate about. This was an chance for me to ensure the celebrations took place across as many GSMA offices as possible. Allowing us to impact as many young girls as possible. We had activities across five of our global offices and here in the London office some of our team took a group of Year 8 schoolgirls over to BT’s innovation space, TechHub. Once there the learnt more about coding and the potential technology related career opportunities.
The morning started with the girls learning how to code using Microsoft’s Maker Champion Challenge. The idea was to encourage the girls to think about how code works to behind the scenes to ensure that most of the things around work. Their role was to think about the environment around their school and find ways to make it safer using code to control things such as traffic lights and barriers. They then had to present their ideas to the rest of the room. The tasks were designed to encourage the girls to work in teams to think about the various skills they would have to use, from coding to planning to presenting.
After the lunch break, the girls experienced speed networking for the first time. Each table had a woman in tech from various industries ready to answer the girls’ questions. With women from telecoms, sport, education and financial services the girls were able to see that there is no particular way that a woman in tech should look, act or sound like!