(an article written for the Somerset Times)
8 March, 2017 is International Women’s Day. This special day is an international call for action to “…help forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world”. The lack of diversity in leadership and in the technical industries is recognised to be a major barrier for future potential economic growth. Women’s advancement is increasingly heralded as a way to grow our nation’s innovative capacity and to improve gender parity. The International Women’s Day campaign theme is asking everyone to #BeBoldForChange.
This year Somerset College has experienced a doubled increase in students electing IT in grade 9 with 39% girls’ participation. This has resulted in more diverse lessons that focus on inclusive and authentic learning experiences. Both boys and girls are excited to learn how to develop startup solutions with app and web development, and an introduction to robotics using Lego Mindstorms EV3. We have invited our IT students to #BeBoldForChange and to design and develop technical solutions that cater to our diverse society.
To further encourage girls’ participation in IT we have invited them to come together outside of school hours to innovatively develop apps to help the community. I am pleased to announce that Somerset College will be registering four teams in the 2017 Search for the Next Tech Girls Superhero competition. Registration opens on 8 March, 2017 to coincide with International Women’s Day. This competition is part of the Tech Girls Movement founded by Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen. Our four Tech Girls teams comprise of 19 girls from grades 7 to 11 and they ask you to #BeBoldForChange!