‘Go Girl, Go For IT’ and what it meant to us
By Bridget MacPherson
Every 2 years the Victorian ICT for Women network runs an event open to all Victorian school girls from years 5 to 12 to hear about the incredible range of vocational avenues available in Technology.
‘Go Girl, Go for IT’ is an amazing initiative aimed at encouraging young girls into the STEM field and showing off all the amazing and wonderful things about the industry and all of the career opportunities available.
STEM is an important field for the future – jobs in these areas offer job security, higher than average salaries, and there is high (and growing) demand for people in STEM occupations. STEM is fundamental to every part of our lives, but there is currently a big achievement gap between girls and boys in STEM in schools and women are vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders. Women need to participate in STEM jobs to make sure the experiences and needs of women are included in studies and in the design of products and services and to ensure appropriate creativity and innovation.
Research has shown that education achievement gaps emerge by kindergarten and these gaps continue until at least the end of eighth grade? So, if kids don’t get enough exposure to education concepts and informal learning opportunities in preschool or earlier, then they’ll be starting kindergarten with relatively less knowledge about the physical and natural sciences. And this gap will likely haunt them for the next nine years or more..⠀
This is why we need to encourage young girls and their passion for learning and education from a young age so they can go on to be the leaders of the future.
By nurturing the next generation of female scientists, technologists, and designers, we can help build more inclusive communities and better, brighter futures. The solution lies in actively supporting women through every stage of their career, from education to career progression, job changes and ongoing professional development.
So what better place to start than helping encourage the young girls at “Go Girl, Go For IT” – such a brilliant initiative aimed at encouraging young girls to follow their dreams and passions! ⠀
Resource Solutions Group once again sponsored and supported this great event. Over the course of the day (16th August), we were lucky enough to talk to many of the 2,200 girls that attended the tradeshow about their interest in IT and a possible career in technology. Many of the girls were already extremely tech savvy and capable, unsurprisingly given their generation has grown up with technology more heavily than any other before.
Many of the girls talked about the subject of coding now being offered at schools and how that became their first taste of a potential IT career. Technology is ever advancing and shaping our world every day and it was exciting to see such a young generation talk about their technology and coding experience with such joy and passion. Computational thinking and coding is becoming the fundamental building blocks of a successful career and it was refreshing to see young girls already harnessing and enjoying the skill that will help them excel in their future workplaces.
A highlight of our day was sitting in on the talk given by the event’s ambassador, Ally Watson
(CEO & Co-Founder of Code Like a Girl). Ally gave an inspiring speech about her childhood and start into the tech world and her struggles often being a lone female in a tech classroom or workplace. Ally’s success, motivation and passion for her field really shone through in her presentation and we could see it resonate with the girls in the audience.
Our Managing Director, Katrina Park, spoke to the girls about the future of technology and the various types of different career opportunities available. She shared with the girls some of the recent tech inventions that are having a huge impact around the world and asked the girls to think about what they might like to create and build. Katrina also shared the career stories of some of the women who have made it to the top in the technology field both on the global stage and here in Australia. And finally, Katrina pointed out to the girls, that whether it’s running your own business or working in a large or small business, a career in technology will let you live your dreams.
It was also empowering to see all the women representing their companies at the trade show with such enthusiasm and passion and genuine excitement in sharing their own tech stories with the young girls. From Melbourne University’s ‘Gangnam Style’ dancing robot, to MYOB’s free fairy floss, and virtual reality goggles; the various sponsors of the event had gone all out to help make a difference to 2000 school girls who can now see IT as a viable and bright career choice.
The energy in the room never dropped and the neither did the enthusiasm from all involved. Many of the young girls had travelled from regional Victoria to attend and had been up since 4am but were still buzzing with excitement throughout the day. The day was a complete success (from our perspective!), from getting to chat to and influence young girls about the amazing possibilities of an IT career, to being empowered ourselves by the many and amazing speakers. We honestly couldn’t of had a better day! It was fun, empowering and educating and we’re already excited for the next event!
See you next time Go Girls!