Vodacom has announced the launch of its #CodeLikeAGirl programme that will see over 600 young girls between the ages of 14 and 18 receive coding training virtually from 4th to 7th October.
Along with offering the chance to explore the world of coding, which has become a key consideration in the 4IR era, the programme also to encourage more girls to explore careers that require skills to help them get a start in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields and industries.
“We recognise the immense value that gets added to the workplace when women and girls play significant roles in STEM fields and, through this project, our vision is to address the underrepresentation of women and girls in STEM education and careers,” emphasised Njabulo Mashigo, Human Resources director for Vodacom South Africa.
“Only 35% of girls enter further education in STEM subjects and many have little encouragement to equip themselves with the skills to thrive in these industries. Through this initiative, we are looking to improve on these numbers, and empower even more women to explore STEM careers,” she added.
Vodacom explains that the aforementioned 600 young girls from across SA will have the opportunity to learn how to code during the 2021 Spring School holidays.
Since its initial rollout in 2017, this programme has been steadily ramping up its numbers. In SA to date, for example, Vodacom says it has trained 732 young girls, with 500 learners a part of the programme in 2019.
“Projects, such as Vodacom’s #CodeLikeAGirl, have the potential to significantly close the gender gap and inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers in the digital era towards which we are transitioning. I believe that we can ultimately change the outlook of the number of females in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers, enabling those women to become pioneers within the technology space in a few years to come,” concluded Mashigo.
[Image – Provided by Vodacom]