Vodafone announce #CodeLikeaGirl initiative to teach young girls how to code

Vodafone Ireland has announced #CodeLikeaGirl, a new initiative which aims to teach teenage girls how to code.

The initiative will provide female students with basic knowledge of computer languages and development programmes, with the aim of building a website upon completion.

The first workshop took place earlier this month with 20 girls from Cabinteely Community School ranging in age from 14 to 16.

The programme aims to encourage more young girls to consider a career in STEM in the future by teaching them to build their own website.

It is estimated that there are more than 120,000 people in Ireland working directly in roles requiring STEM experience but just 1 in 4 of those working in this area are women

In 2015 only 5.3% of Leaving Certificate engineering students were girls and boys outnumbered girls 3:1 in technology subjects.

James Magill, Human Resources Director at Vodafone says the gender gap is beginning to close.

He said: "In recent years, there has been significant progress in closing the global gender gap in various aspects of society. However, in many countries, the gap is widening in STEM careers.

"#CodeLikeaGirl aims to help close that gap here in Ireland and show young girls that a future in STEM is an exciting prospect.

"We know that coding is going to play an even bigger role in careers in the future so it’s important that we empower young women to learn this skill while at school."

Melissa McGuirk, a secondary school teacher at Cabinteely Community School was one of the first to have her students take part in the initiative.

She said: "The reaction from our students in attendance has been truly remarkable.

"These classes are crucial in providing a stepping stone for Ireland’s next generation of female STEM specialists and inspiring them to embark on a thriving career path."

Run in partnership with CodeFirst: Girls and supported by Technology and the Women’s Network, the coding student workshops take place over the course of a week and are delivered by Vodafone employees.

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