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|
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:
- Tech UK
- Rare Recruitment
- Raytheon UK