By Bethan Baldwin, New Futures Project Manager at Chwarae Teg
Chwarae Teg’s New Futures pilot offers a bespoke programme of fully funded tech courses alongside wraparound career development support, to encourage and enable women to switch careers into Tech. The aim is to inspire and motivate women to see past barriers, increase their confidence and aspirations and move into a new industry.
Women dominate in sectors and occupations that are at high risk of digitalisation and the demand for digital innovation has increased since the pandemic. Globally, half of the digital sector’s female workers drop out of the industry by mid-career, and women make up less than a quarter of senior leadership roles in Tech.
This project addresses this vulnerability, by not only providing skills training but offering a targeted and tailored training and support programme, to access career pathways in the digital sector. The pilot will address individual barriers to training and employment such as childcare challenges and transport issues, making training and support more accessible for women.
Our tailored opportunity works alongside training partners and in association with Fintech Wales, who are providing a guaranteed number a tech roles linked to a degree course that 10 women have been selected for. 200 other women will complete shorter courses including coding, data analytics and web development that will provide a starting point for their journey into Tech.
Our Career Development Partners will support all the women on the pilot with coaching sessions, as well as online workshops on topics such as:
We plan to host three events to provide opportunities for participants to meet with potential employers, a variety of training providers and importantly each other – like minded women wanting to progress.
We’ve had over 100 enquiries to date and numerous media appearances in print and TV!
This is what New Futures Wales is offering, with our partners:
The Open University – Two courses delivering micro credentials in Python and Networks. Alongside these we have 30 bite size introductory courses focussing on all things Tech including coding, design, data, analytics, networks and more! All self-directed online learning, completed in participants’ own time.
Code First Girls – Training for 190 women, via two routes:
10 spaces have been given to women looking to complete a degree course with a role sponsor attached, providing them with a new job at the end of the course.
180 will complete an eight week web development course. These participants will be able to code a website from scratch on completion of the course.
Fintech Wales – FinTech is the collaboration of technology design and usage within financial services and FinTech Wales is the independent membership association and champion of the FinTech and Financial Services industry in Wales. There is a large collective of Fintech Wales members who are looking to build on their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategies and want to encourage and support more women into Tech. Collectively these members have offered 10 job opportunities to women on our pilot and there may well be other roles available as we progress through the technical training.
Here at Chwarae Teg our expertise is in relationship building and tailoring development interventions to support women to achieve their potential and beyond. We’re very excited about the potential of our pilot; we’re opening doors, having frank conversations about barriers and perceptions and we’re addressing the core issues of the lack of women in Tech by providing accessible training to enable women on their way.
Learning and Work Institute’s flagship programme, New Futures, is supporting workers who are looking to change career and reskill as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This work is funded by the Covid-19 Support Fund. We are working with partners across the UK to deliver place-based pilots in Edinburgh, Belfast, Wales and Tees Valley.