By 2030, from 40 to 160 million women will have to think about a new job or retrain their technological skills in order not to be excluded from work. Until today, though, only 20% of workers in science and technology and 35% of STEM students are women.
“The future of women at work” report by McKinsey Global Institute shows that jobs held by women are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the current health emergency than those held by men: such gender gap could reduce the global GDP growth more than one trillion dollars in 2030.
It is therefore necessary to fill a gender gap, for which Italy holds the 76th position out of 153 countries, and to increase the number of women active in the scientific and technological fields, in order to overcome stereotypes and biases that also affect the new generation.
The success of Coding Girls initiative, now in its sixth edition, stems from this need: it aims to bring young Italian women closer to the technological and scientific professions, supporting and promoting gender equality in these work areas.
Coding Girls is an educational and training programme created by Fondazione Mondo Digitale, with the support of the US Embassy in Italy and Microsoft Italy, to which over the years other partners joined, including the Netherlands Embassy in Italy, Compagnia di San Paolo, and Enie, a network of 32 partners.
A project that has grown over the years, involving more and more schools in 24 cities and about 15 000 female students, trained by young women programmers of the same age whose mission is to fascinate secondary school students with computer programming.
The project includes coding competitions between schools, but also orientation and training sessions with university tutors and experts in the field, who can be an example and inspiration.
“Our challenge is to create a vertical educational chain that makes young women aware of the crucial role that each of them can play in the development of the country”, explains Mirta Michilli, co-founder of Coding Girls association and general director of the Fondazione Mondo Digitale. “We are increasingly convinced that the winning strategy to accelerate the achievement of gender equality is school, as an effective defence against all forms of inequality. We help the new generations to free themselves from clichés and stereotypes to plan their future in freedom”.
Barbara Cominelli, Marketing and Operations Director Microsoft Italy stressed, “The digital revolution, accelerated by the health emergency and engine of growth, is deeply changing the world of work that requires more and more professionals with STEM skills. The theme of human capital is fundamental. Coding Girls is linked to our training program Ambition Italy, that is an investment plan to support the growth of the country that also provides training courses to give digital skills to students and professionals already established”.