A message from BCSWomen founder, Sue Black
As you may know I’m Founder and CEO of the charity #techmums (and BCSWomen :))
I’m emailing with some exciting #techmums news, we are going to be working with WPP and Cap Gemini to massively expand #techmums with the aim of reaching 1 million mums by 2020. Woohoo!!! This is a major step forward for #techmums and is going to mean that we can make the impact we so desperately want.
Press release below in case you would like to know more, you can also signup on our website: #techmums I’ve been working on this for 5 years now, so am delighted that things are moving along towards scaling up now :))
Please let me know if you would like any more info from me or have any questions.
WPP agencies and Capgemini support #techmums to bring tech to everyone
As companies wake up to the bottom-line business value of a diverse workforce, #techmums – the charity led by technology evangelist and UK government advisor Dr Sue Black OBE – has announced it will collaborate with Capgemini UK and WPP agencies Cognifide and Addison Group to bring technology training to women across the UK.
#techmums, established in 2012, offers a five-week course free of charge to mothers with no prior IT experience. The course covers a range of subjects from online safety to basic coding, and has been credited with opening doors to jobs and further education. In February 2017, the course will go online with the aim of reaching many more mothers. The online version of the course will deliver the same great #techmums syllabus but will not be constrained by the need for a classroom.
The charity’s phenomenal success to date caught the eye of consulting firm Capgemini and of WPP agencies Addison Group and Cognifide, who are offering pro bono support as part of WPP’s commitment to the UN-backed initiative Common Ground. Together they hope to amplify and scale #techmums to a much bigger audience.
Common Ground is a shared commitment by the communications services industry to set aside competitive differences and work together in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WPP – the world’s largest advertising and marketing services group – has specific responsibility for addressing SDG 5: gender equality.
WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, along with the CEOs of the other “Big Six” advertising and marketing services groups, in announcing Common Ground at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June 2016.
#techmums founder, Dr Sue Black OBE, is delighted by the support being offered and said: “Team #techmums are so excited to be supported by WPP’s agencies and Capgemini. We aim to have one million #techmums across the globe by 2020 and are looking forward to working with them to make that happen.”
Tech agency Cognifide is assisting with #techmums’ digital marketing strategy and helping them to create inspiring content. Alex Anders, Director of Talent and lead for the project, said: “Supporting #techmums means bridging the skills gap in the tech industry and opening up women’s career perspectives by teaching them to code. As our Cognifide developers always say, you can change the world by coding!”
Addison Group CEO Tom Robinson said: “We are delighted to be working with #techmums as part of the WPP Common Ground initiative to support gender equality. As a leading digital agency, we felt an immediate affinity with the work #techmums undertakes, empowering mothers in the poorest parts of the UK to learn the digital skills they need to secure skilled work and provide a better life for their children. We are looking forward to developing a brand identity for a forward-thinking charity which will accurately reflect their ambition and support their growth plans both nationally and internationally.”
Frances Duffy, Capgemini’s UK & Regional HR Director and Active Inclusion lead, commented: “At Capgemini, we help people from every background to unlock their working potential, today and for the future. We are very excited about working with #techmums to help mothers recognise and realise their strengths; together, we will equip them with the digital skills they need to develop bright careers in whatever industry they choose. In turn, we believe they will offer their future employers a greater diversity of thought, which will drive innovation and business profitability.”
#techmums was founded by Dr Sue Black OBE, whose story is reflective of the transformative effect education in tech can have in helping women to bring their families out of poverty. At the age of 25, she was a single mother living in a domestic violence refuge with three children and few formal qualifications. Sue enrolled on a maths-based university access course which led to a place on a Computer Studies degree. She has since gained a PhD and had a successful 20-year academic career.
A Technology Evangelist and Digital Skills Expert, Sue was awarded an OBE for “services to technology” in the 2016 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. She is now a UK government advisor, thought leader, Honorary Professor of Computer Science at UCL, social entrepreneur, writer and public speaker. Her current social enterprise #techmums is changing lives. #techmums teaches mums tech skills and builds their confidence, encouraging them into education, entrepreneurship and employment. Sue set up the UK’s first online network for women in tech, BCSWomen, and led the campaign to save Bletchley Park.