Preparing girls for career opportunities in the digital age
Over 40 girls from across five London secondary schools joined forces this week to attend a Cyber Ready Girls' Day, run by leading global law firm Baker & McKenzie in collaboration with The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC). With women representing only 17% of the information technology workforce, this full-day event was designed to dispel the myth that technology is “not for women” and to promote the range of future career opportunities available to tech-savvy girls in various industries and sectors.
The girls, aged 11-14, heard from a number of high-profile, inspirational women in the industry including Larissa Chase, No 10's Deputy Director of ICT and Jessica Cecil, Controller of BBC Make It Digital. Both shared their career stories and spoke about the rewarding nature of a career in technology. Throughout the day, the girls met with a number of senior women with leading technology, security, legal and digital leadership roles from Accenture, Avanade, Barclays, BT, Symantec, Raytheon and Tech UK, and also had the opportunity to try their hand at coding.
The Cyber Ready Girls' Day Initiative was the brainchild of Pat Ryan, on behalf of TNMOC, and Dyann Heward-Mills, London Head of Data Protection and Cyber Security at Baker & McKenzie.
Commenting, Pat Ryan said: "There is a world of opportunity awaiting girls with the relevant aptitude and skills for computing-related work. Once women were very prevalent in the industry, but numbers then declined and the industry lost out as a result. We hope the day helped to encourage many more girls to consider computing as a career.”
Dyann Heward-Mills added: "I'm thrilled that we've been able to launch the Cyber Ready Girls' Day. There are vast career opportunities for young women with coding and computer science skills. It is great to generate awareness and help girls take their first step towards a career in tech through important initiatives like this. Helping to 'break the mould' in this sector ties in with our commitment as a global law firm to diversity and inclusion."
The participating schools included Addey and Stanhope School (Lewisham), Canons High School (Harrow), Coopers and Coborn School (Upminster), George Greens School (Tower Hamlets), and Pimlico Academy (Westminster).
The full-day schedule ran as follows:
9.30am Arrival - initial scene setting and ground rules
9.45am Welcome from Dyann Heward-Mills, Head of Data Protection & Cyber Security at Baker & McKenzie
10am Cyber Ready Girls past & present and Coding exercise. Pat Ryan and Robert Dowell, Learning Guide at TNMOC
11.45am Talk from Larissa Chase, Deputy Director of ICT at 10 Downing Street
12pm Perceptions exercise
Dyann Heward-Mills, Head of Data Protection & Cyber Security at Baker & McKenzie
Nadia Banno, Of Counsel, Disputes Resolution & Co-Chair Cyber Security Council, Baker & McKenzie
12.30pm Lunch, quiz and robot demonstration by Raytheon UK
1.15pm Talk from Jessica Cecil, Controller of BBC Make It Digital
1.30pm Tech in the City interactive exercise. Frank Funnell and Jonathan Ray, School Engagement Specialists
Other participating organisations
Note to Editors
About the National Museum of Computing
The National Museum of Computing, located on Bletchley Park, is an independent charity housing the world's largest collection of functional historic computers, including the rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, and the WITCH, the world's oldest working digital computer. The Museum enables visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the large systems and mainframes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s and beyond.
The Museum runs a highly successful Learning Programme for schools and colleges and promotes introductions to computer coding amongst young people, especially females, to inspire the next generation of computer scientists and engineers. In October 2015, the Museum hosted the STEMCyber Girls' Day to encourage more girls to take up computing as a career.
For more information, see www.tnmoc.org and follow @tnmoc on Twitter and The National Museum of Computing on Facebook and Google+. A TNMOC iPhone App is also available from the iPhone App Store.
About Baker & McKenzie
Baker & McKenzie is a leading global law firm. Founded in 1949, Baker & McKenzie advises many of the world’s most dynamic and successful business organizations through our 12,000 staff in 77 offices in 47 countries. The Firm is known for its global perspective, deep understanding of the local language and culture of business, uncompromising commitment to excellence, and world-class fluency in its client service.
For more information, please go to www.bakermckenzie.com
Stephen Fleming for TNMOC
+44 (0) 1635 299116
Sofía Nogués for baker & McKenzie
+44 (0)20 7919 1887