InnovateHer launches online tech programme to reach girls in isolation, in wake of global pandemic

Published on Business stage: Thinking, Unlocking

InnovateHer has launched its new online industry-led coaching and technology programme for girls aged 13-16, in a bid to continue with its mission to train the next generation of innovators and reduce isolation for girls during the lockdown.

 

With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing the Liverpool based social enterprise to close its doors last month and suspend all face-to-face training in schools, the online portal gives InnovateHer the ability to continue to inspire young girls to pursue careers in tech, and connect them with other girls in the community.

 

The six week ‘Foundation in Tech for Good’ course provides girls with an opportunity to continue to learn tech skills safely whilst in isolation. They will be solving real-world problems related to the current global pandemic using technology. Girls are guided through the content by inspiring industry mentors, accessing coaching sessions online each week as part of a cohort of like-minded girls. All mentors are DBS checked.

 

Chelsea Slater, Co-founder said; “We’ve always wanted to launch our educational offer online as it enables us to extend our reach to those living outside of the North West. With everyone being told to stay at home now we felt we needed to do something positive to support girls in isolation, so it felt like the right time to develop an online course.

 

InnovateHer has been a labour of love over the last four years; we’ve reached over 50 schools and over 1,000 girls to date, and built a fantastic community who are passionate about supporting more females to have careers within the tech sector. Offering our resources online gives us the ability to continue our mission; to get girls ready for the tech industry and the tech industry ready for girls.”

 

Developed in collaboration with industry partners, learners will be guided by a coach through weekly challenges, giving them an opportunity to develop new skills such as design, prototyping, teamwork and pitching. Girls will build their confidence and self-belief through connecting with industry role models and other like-minded girls.

 

Students will enter their tech solutions into a competition, to be in with a chance of winning work experience at one of InnovateHer’s member organisations. InnovateHer’s member network includes SONY, Very group, Liverpool Football Club, The Co-op, Code Computer Love and many more.

 

Plans are also in the pipeline to extend InnovateHer’s online offer to their members through online events and workshops, to help them continue with their diversity and inclusion practices.

 

InnovateHer has developed a strong relationship with the Co-op Academies Trust over the past three years of working with their schools to deliver their Tech For Good programme. The Trust is sponsoring four female students from Co-op Academy Bebington to participate in the first online cohort. CEO Chris Tomlinson says;

 

“The tech industry was facing a significant challenge prior to the lockdown in encouraging young female students to consider a career in technology. Putting InnovateHer’s fantastic programmes online will hopefully encourage many more to get involved. I’m delighted our Trust is able to support this great work and I believe that our students will benefit hugely from engaging with it.’

 

InnovateHer are also exploring partnerships to provide devices to those girls who may not currently be able to access the course from home, and providing some free places to those who cannot afford to pay for the programme.

 

To find out more about InnovateHer, or to enquire about partnerships, visit: www.innovateher.co.uk

 

Programmes will start in May and the pilot cohorts will cost £50 per place. To sign up for the course visit online.innovateher.co.uk

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