The book has been written by Belinda Parmar , it marks the start of a new campaign to bridge the gender gap that exists in technology. The book is the culmination of months of research, discussions with leading industry figures and workshops with schools around the country, the Little Geek campaign is designed to inspire the next generation of female talent.
The launch itself started with four articulate young ladies outlining their aspirations for the future, we were treated to original songwriting, art, film and the next female prime minister. What struck me while listening to all four talk was their passion for the subjects that interested them, but also the part that IT already plays within their lives. Their favourite gadgets covered an iPad, a MacBook Pro, an xbox and the Raspberry Pi – with these gadgets in their hands they are already able to use technology to push their passion for songwriting or film to a much wider audience than was possible 5-10 years ago, such is the speed that recent technology has moved at.
The discussion then moved onto the ‘Panel’ who were all given a minute a persuade the four that a career in IT was worth looking at. The individual members of the panel were then judged!
First up was Lee Epting, former Global Head of content at Vodafone – she spoke about the fact that women are opinionated they don’t want to be influenced they want to influence and to have an impact – the biggest place for this at the moment – to have an impact and to influence was in mobile technology which was now everywhere and who knows where it could be in the future. Next was Kat Grant, an ICT teacher at King Alfred School who spoke about the fact that often ICT itself as a name was a turn off, it should not just be about ‘office’ tools but being more creative, mashing things up and joining passion with ICT in order to create. Olivia Solon, associate editor of Wired was next who spoke about the fact that IT was permeating all sectors now and to follow your passion – linking IT with DT both involved making and creating things. Anna Fielding, on lie editor of stylist followed speaking of the fact that technology is an important part of any job, technology and the use of it should be seen as part of the normal job and women should look a the depth of knowledge they already have but not realise. Fast up was Laura Patterson, lead consultant at Thought Works who spoke passionately about the fact that technology is innovative creative and tangible but most of all technology is fun! it involves team work, collaboration and the thrill of solving puzzles. Technology makes a difference.
I found all five talks informative but the last one definitely struck a chord – it is what I enjoy about technology the team work and the collaboration as well as most importantly making a difference however small.
For me any campaign that encourages females of all ages to become involved with technology is a worth while one – I see the enthusiasm from all children towards ICT at the primary level – and this needs to be encouraged as they progress through Secondary and into future careers. They have started at primary and the love they have for using programs such as Scratch, Kodu and mine craft should be encouraged, at the same time realising that IT is more than coding, it offers a range of possibilities across all sectors and should be promoted.
The great folks over at bee-it have also written a blog post and offering five lucky readers the opportunity to win a free workshop with the Lady Geek team for their school, as well as a free copy of Little Miss Geek. To be in with the chance of winning this great prize, simply retweet their article on Twitter or share it on Facebook. Winners will be chosen at random by bee-it on Friday 2 November 2012.