On June 20th, 2018, Valtech Toronto launched Tech_Girl in North America. What is Tech_Girl? Originally developed by the Valtech Sweden team, it is an initiative designed to highlight opportunities for women in technology and equip young girls, the future leaders, with the skills and tools to take on the tech space.
Valtech Toronto opened their doors to 20 excited and eager girls, ages 9-13, to talk about what technology means to them now and in the future, teach them the fundamentals of coding …as well as eat some pizza & cupcakes!
The curriculum was focused on teaching the girls how to code HTML & CSS by building a blog about their favourite television show, followed by a lesson in Scratch, where they built their own basketball-dunking competition game. As Matt Vandermolen, Director of Technical Strategy explains, the curriculum is designed to “give them the building blocks” of software development and ignite passions early.
In today’s corporate world only 6% of CEOs are female, 13% of women are on executive teams in technology, and 8% of women are sitting on boards of technology companies. Allison Abraham Simpkins, SVP North America and Managing Director of Valtech Toronto, hopes to change that, starting with bringing the Tech_Girl program to Toronto. Slated to be an ongoing program to inspire and enact change in North America, Simpkins believes that early exposure to these skills and tools will help create the “next generation of future leaders”.
These future technology titans met the day’s challenges with enthusiasm and a hunger for knowledge. 10-year-old Harper said that she previously considered coding to be “just for boys”; but after her experience at Tech_Girl, she was able to “engage with other girls who like [technology]” just as much as her, and has realized her potential and the opportunities in technology that await her.
At Valtech Toronto, we’re constantly looking for ways to create positive changes to the technology space, and give back to the community. Stay tuned for our next event and see how you can get involved in moving the needle for women in technology! Want to learn more? Watch our recap video of this special initiative here.