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Go for IT!

The ‘Go for IT’ team of volunteers from HSBC visited Year 8 and 9 pupils in our Senior School today to deliver an inspirational workshop, aiming to encourage more girls to consider future careers in technology that they may not have realised were out there.

HSBC is one of the largest employers in technology within Sheffield and want to play a more active role within the local community. The leaders of the ‘Go for IT’ team are passionate about reaching young people through the 3-hour workshop to increase the diversity, inclusion and ambition of young people in all areas of computing careers. It has proved to be popular across Sheffield and the team are now booked to visit 10 schools in the first half of the year.

The interactive workshop was aimed at pupils who may not have previously had interest in IT. With the help of the HSBC volunteers the girls explored their current perception of IT and women’s representation within technology, how their own ambitions and interests can link/fit into a career in the IT industry, and concluded the workshop by reevaluating their previous misconceptions with their new knowledge of the field.

Activities included using writing on post-it notes to track their opinions of IT over the course of the workshop: at the start the girls wrote down words such as ‘dull’, ‘difficult’ and ‘complicated’, but they saw a significant change by the end to more positive descriptions such as ‘fun’ and ‘useful’.

Fighting misconceptions that IT careers are solely based around coding, the ‘Go for IT’ team listened to the pupils’ interests outside of school and explained the huge variety of IT-related careers they could enjoy pursuing. They also noted the trends of women’s representation by guessing which gender invented various technology, including looking at Katherine Johnson, who overcame racial and gender discrimination to become a NASA research mathematician making critical calculations leading to the success of the US’s space programme.

Ending with a Q&A for the girls to ask any questions, they have a valuable new insight into careers in tech and more options to consider as the time to choose their GCSE options rapidly approaches.

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