GirlsGoIT is an organization based in Moldova that encourages girls and young women to explore IT careers. Particularly reaching out to girls with disabilities or from rural areas, the organization helps introduce girls to tech fields through workshops, summer camps and large community events. Through the work of the organization, GirlsGoIT promotes teaching girls about tech and helping them see that there is a place for them in the tech industry. The tech industry needs girls’ voices, creativity and ideas to continue to thrive and grow.
How GirlsGoIT Promotes Teaching Girls About Tech: Work and Events
A major event in the Girls GoIT program is the summer camps the organization holds, where the organization invites girls aged 16 to 20 from all over the country to spend time learning the basics of IT work, how to use different computer programs and how to create their own software. The camps also give young women a fuller scope of tech work by inviting professionals to work with the girls. These include web designers, copywriters and social media analysts. Working with the professionals gives the girls a chance to conceptualize different careers and think of the different possible career paths in the world of tech IT.
The hope with the camps is that the girls will continue to research and practice for a career in tech. The girls will build connections with professionals and peers and will pass on their knowledge to other young people in their communities. In fact, many of the girls become GirlsGoIt ambassadors, where they establish and run local computer clubs in their communities.
Throughout the year, however, GirlsGoIT continues to have programs to help introduce more girls to the world of tech. The organization often has workshops in the spring and summer and has expanded its work to include creating and programming robotics and learning how to 3D print and model. GirlsGoIT also has many live discussions for adults in which it advises parents, educators and other professionals about encouraging more young women to involve themselves with IT. It often holds informative lectures about what people can do to help create a more inclusive tech workforce.
Work During the Pandemic
With COVID-19 preventing many in-person events, many GirlsGoIT annual events had to reform and take on a new shape. But even with these setbacks, GirlsGoIt was still able to hold successful events and create new opportunities for the participants of its program.
Even before the pandemic, the team at GirlsGoIt was looking for ways to combine in-person education with the digital sphere. So, the organization embraced this and moved its typical seasonal workshops online in 2020. In the autumn workshop in October 2020, around 155 participants joined. For the spring workshop, which was from the end of March to early April 2021, more than 922 people applied. This represents the largest number of applicants the workshop has had.
GirlsGoIT Collaborations and Campaigns
In 2020, GirlsGoIT partnered with different organizations to host new events and give participants of its programs new opportunities. One of the organizations was Crunchyroll Moldova. Both organizations host a discussion event about STEM education’s importance in our new generation. In addition, Crunchyroll also offers internships to participants of GirlsGoIt. The internship provides experience and helps the girls continue in their careers with a letter of recommendation and a diploma.
In 2021, GirlsGoIT released a new campaign titled “It’s Not Just About the Code!” The campaign intends to show that people with different interests and fields ranging from tech-based to artistic careers can involve themselves in GirlsGoIT. A variety of professions and fields use IT skills. It also emphasizes that learning how to code is just the first step in working in IT. Other skills include being able to communicate efficiently, creating a good product and considering the customer’s needs that are necessary to succeed in the tech field. GirlsGoIT emphasizes that the program is about teaching all the skills young women would need to be successful in the industry.
Impact and Importance
Predictions have determined that soon, 90% of all jobs will require some form of ICT skills. However, as of 2018, women held only 25% of all tech jobs. Upon further examination, only 19% of entry-level or mid-level tech jobs contain women. Women had 16% of senior-level jobs and filled only 10% of executive positions in the tech industry.
The low women-held tech positions directly tie into young women choosing to study IT or STEM-related fields in the teenage as young adult years. Many young women reported avoiding the subjects because they believed they were not good at IT subjects. The women did not think that the subjects were interesting or did not believe they wanted a tech career.
The fewer women in the tech industry, the more it feels to people that women do not belong in this field. GirlsGoIT’s work is important because of how the organization teaches girls to code, create software and build robotics. The organization is also important because it shows young women and their communities that women belong in the world of tech and that the world needs their voices and ideas.
Many of the young women who participated in GirlsGoIt and became ambassadors for the program did not know they wanted a career in tech before they joined. Some of the women even said they were sure they were not good at STEM subjects before participating. The program also helped win over many parents. Seeing their daughters participate in the programs helped people realize the importance of increasing the number of women in the tech industry. The women started to encourage other parents that they knew to support their children in STEM and IT subjects. GirlsGoIt promotes teaching girls about tech and is taking an important step to help make the tech industry a more equal and fair workspace.
– Mikayla Burton