Reed Business Information (RBI) has run its second Technology Day for girls following success last year.
Just under twenty girls aged fourteen and fifteen arrived at Quadrant House in Sutton from local schools – Carshalton Girls and Overton Grange.
The day started with some introductions and a discussion about why there are fewer women than men in technology and what the opportunities were for careers in tech.
Jo Portlock, HR Business Partner said: “We gave a presentation about how quickly technology has changed in recent years and the girls heard how much the tech career sector is growing. We also spoke about RBI and how we have 31% females working in technology compared to the UK average of 17%.”
The girls were taken on a tour of the office so they could see what it was actually like to work at RBI and in technology, and also see some of RBI’s technology roles in action. They then took part in an innovation game to discuss the positive and negative perceptions about careers in technology for women.
After lunch there was a series of presentations from some of RBI’s many women in technology about their differing roles and career pathways.
The day concluded with Lego agile exercise which simulates an agile planning and build task. The girls were asked to create a Lego building but, as is usually the case in reality, the product mandate changed unexpectedly half way through. This was a great way to show the girls how in technology the solutions and build are constantly changing and how you’re ultimately creating something for the business.
Dorota Tsatsaris, Senior Director, Product Engineering said: “It seemed to be a common perception among the teenagers that working in technology means having to be really good at coding and many girls don’t believe that they can achieve this so may not consider a technical career.
“During the Tech Day the school girls realised that there are a large number of other roles such as Business Analysts, Quality Assurance and Management that can provide a fulfilling career in Technology. They also got to have fun while building the Lego towers and learning about agile development principles. When the Tech Day participants gave feedback that they felt encouraged to consider technology careers I felt we’d all done a good job.”
Terry Tomecek, Director of Corporate Solutions Group said: “Another successful day, working with local schools to encourage girls to consider careers in technology. We generated some lively debates around why girls don’t select IT based subjects as a GCSE and feedback has been really positive in that they have a better understanding of the variety of roles within a Technology Dept.
“They were very engaged and interested throughout the day and this makes it more enjoyable for us to spend the time with them and share our experiences and career paths. It never ceases to amaze me, that I learn something new every time we run one of these session either about RBI or one of the wonderful volunteers that come and help us run the day. Looking forward to the next one.”