BECOMTECH: Getting Girls Interested in Digital Careers
Women represent less than 10% of people working in digital professions. That’s why BECOMTECH is taking action to help girls develop their IT culture and skills, become more independent, and choose their own future. Total Foundation has been supporting the nonprofit since 2017, particularly in rolling out its initiatives to new regions. This year, despite lockdown, BECOMTECH’s JUMP IN TECH program was remarkably successful in the Paris, Val-d’Oise, Val-de-Marne, Rhône and Yvelines areas of France. And, in recognition of its efforts, the initiative has even been shortlisted to represent France in competition for the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education.
Summer 2020: Adapting JUMP IN TECH to the Health Crisis – With Great Success
Backed by Total Foundation, JUMP IN TECH is a free program run throughout July. Over four weeks, classes of around 15 girls are immersed in the world of digital technology and IT through an active learning method based on concrete examples. Guided by two expert instructors, the participants learn to code, create a website, operate robots, use video editing software, and more. The program also includes an introduction to the corporate world and the chance to talk with tech professionals.
This year, despite the health crisis, five classes totaling 65 girls in the ninth and tenth grades took part in the program. Two remote classes were set up in the Val-d’Oise area – which was particularly affected by the Covid-19 epidemic – with BECOMTECH providing all participants with the equipment and Internet access they needed. The other three classes were held in person, following social distancing measures. At the end of the program, the girls supported by the nonprofit become “BECOMTECH Ambassadors”, tasked with inspiring others and generating interest in the digital world.
Raising Awareness Among Girls Year-Round
Any girl in school aged between 14 and 17 can take part in JUMP IN TECH, regardless of their academic abilities and level of IT knowledge. At least 50% of the girls selected come from schools in educational priority networks.
Throughout the year, BECOMTECH runs awareness-raising initiatives and goes into schools, libraries, nonprofits, youth clubs, and information and cultural centers for young people to give talks. These events are aimed at dismantling gender stereotypes and encouraging girls to explore the possibilities offered by technology. This year, 450 young people took part, including 52% remotely during lockdown.
BECOMTECH opens up a world of possibilities to all girls, promoting gender equality, diversity and the freedom to choose a career in an area with a bright future.