InnovateHer, a North West-based initiative designed to help improve equality in tech and address the digital skills gap, has signed up a raft of new partners to boost its activity in the region.
The organisation, which launched in 26 schools across the North West in 2018, will now expand into 55 schools, with the aim of reaching over 1,000 girls by 2020.
The new partners include Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and private sector businesses Co-op Digital and Code ComputerLove.
A new eight-week after-school programme will encourage greater equality and diversity in technical roles by giving girls aged 12-16 access to the skills, self-belief and confidence to pursue a career in technology.
InnovateHer has worked with over 240 girls in 12 schools to date, enabling them to interact with leading employers and industry role models, alongside providing careers coaching.
InnovateHer co-founder Jo Morfee said: "The team are simultaneously working with digital and tech companies through a membership and consultancy offer, to create more inclusive workplaces for the next generation to work within. It’s critical that young people are given the opportunity to learn key digital skills from an early age, as the majority of roles now require digital skills.
“We also have a gender gap in the industry - just 20% of tech roles in the North West are taken by women. That’s why we’re on a mission to change the narrative, because we believe that everyone, regardless of background or identity, should be given the opportunity to follow the path that they choose.”
InnovateHer is seeking industry mentors to help lead the programme, and business partners to help with delivery.