24 January 2022 – Girls Talk London partners with BT, Vodafone, Virgin Media O2 and HSBC UK to launch a technology talent accelerator for female university students in the UK and Ghana who are currently pursuing a career in technology.

Created by award-winning gender equality organisation, Girls Talk London, this virtual six month programme will provide access to professionals and skills development training to 88 female university students from January-June 2022 to support them with their career aspirations to work in Technology.

Globally women make up just 26.7% of technologists — a 2.1% drop in representation from March 2020 and a reverse after five years of progress. This programme aims to remove the barriers faced by women through connecting them to like-minded peers, mentors and access to recruiters in some of the worlds leading technology companies. This is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring women in Technology to get their foot in the door, in time for when they graduate from university.

Students on the programme will receive 1-2-1 mentoring, monthly skills development masterclasses led by influential business professionals and an exclusive curated two day virtual Tech Summit meeting Senior Leaders & recruiters from all sponsoring businesses in March 2022.

The official virtual launch of the programme will take place on Thursday 27th January 2022 featuring speakers that include Kerry Small, Commercial & Digital Sales Director, Vodafone Business, Natalie Daley, CTO Shared Services and Cloud Operations Director, HSBC and Sara Heaven, Enterprise Architecture CoE Director at BT. Attendees include participants and mentors from all businesses.

Vanessa Sanyauke, CEO and Founder of Girls Talk London says:

“Girls Talk London are excited to partner with HSBC UK, BT, Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 to support female students in the UK and Ghana with their career aspirations to work in Technology. We have a critical global challenge where women only make up 26.7% of all jobs in Technology and it is important that the female talent pipeline are provided with the necessary tools, role models and opportunities to access jobs in this sector.

Our mission is to give women access to male dominated sectors, make them more inclusive and break down the doors so that women are able to have fruitful and successful careers where they can thrive. Step UP is an excellent continuation of the work we have been doing to increase the representation of women in Technology for the past 9 years. “

Kerry Small, Commercial & Digital Sales Director, Vodafone Business says:

“Globally, less than a third of senior management roles are held by women, and the technology sector is no exception. At Vodafone one of our three purpose pillars is centred around ‘Inclusion for All’, whereby we are committed to developing a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the customers and societies we serve. That means reaching out to young people, particularly girls interested in STEM as they begin to think about their future careers, to highlight the importance of increasing representation of women in the workplace and work towards closing the gender gap.

We want to be recognised as the world’s best employer for women by 2025 and have 40% of management roles held by women by 2030, and one of the ways in which we can support this journey as a company is by sponsoring the Girls Talk London ‘Step Up’ programme, which I see as a fantastic development opportunity to support and motivate young women to pursue their ambitions of working in technology.”

Sara Heaven, Enterprise Architecture CoE Director at BT says:

As a technology company, BT has a responsibility to play a role in helping to close the gender skills gap in technology. The telecommunications industry gender pay gap average is 11.6% and the UK average is 15.5%*; while BT’s pay gap is significantly lower, there is still a gap we need to close and we are continuing to double our efforts to close this internally and externally. Our TechWomen programme, which is our global internal development programme, helps to pave the way for women in technology to progress into senior roles. But our work cannot stop there; we also have to support the next generation of women in technology outside our organisation and before they’ve entered the workforce too.

Our ongoing partnership with Girls Talk London signifies the importance in our shared ambition to support and encourage women in technology. The ‘Step Up’ programme is a brilliant initiative with the potential to help tackle the gender gap in our industry and in the UK, and we’re excited to help these women kick start their technology careers.

* ONS provisional figures for 2020 indicate an 11.6% median pay gap for the telecommunications industry and a 15.5% median pay gap at UK national level.

Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2 said:

“The adage is right; you can’t be what you can’t see. And with fewer women entering and staying in STEM roles, it’s clear the tech industry needs to take action to attract, retain and advance women in their careers to reverse this negative trend.

“That’s why Virgin Media O2 is proudly partnering with Girls Talk London’s ‘Step Up’ programme to support and cultivate the next generation of women into technology roles and technical leadership.

“As a business we’re committed to providing more women with the skills, knowledge and coaching they need to build a successful and rewarding career in STEM, which will also help us in our aim of upgrading the UK with the first-class connectivity the country needs now and for the future.”

Girls Talk London is an award-winning agency that connects women with global businesses to empower them to develop the skills & confidence to succeed in work & life through bespoke programmes, events and online content. The organisation has directly impacted 5400 women from 37 countries and has a growing social media following of 43K people.

WEBSITE: www.girlstalklondon.com

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