Next Tech Girls is an award-winning social enterprise tackling the skills and gender gaps in the UK tech industry.
Next Tech Girls was set up by tech recruitment agency Empiric to tackle the underrepresentation of women in the tech industry at the grassroots level. They partner with companies and educational institutions to deliver tech-focused events, training and work placements for teenage girls.
We didn’t want to be another company talking about the problem, we wanted to take action and start contributing to meaningful change. So in 2016, after doing some research into when the gender gap starts and considering how we could make best use of our skills and networks, we set up Next Tech Girls and started partnering with companies and schools to organise tech-focused work experience placements for teenage girls. We hoped that by giving girls hands-on experience of a career in tech at an age when studies show their interest tends to drop off, we could change their perspectives and the future of the industry.
Seven years later, what started as a grassroots initiative is now an award-winning social enterprise. We’ve already run placements for over 350 girls, with 95% motivated to pursue a tech career and many now working in the industry.
We’ve directly engaged with over 1,300 girls around the UK - 85% of work experience participants this year have been from an ethnic minority background and 45% have been Black/African/Caribbean.
Last year, we appointed a new director, Emily Hall-Strutt, who’s brought her years of experience as a woman in tech and DEI leader in government to scale up Next Tech Girls’ reach and impact. She’s since rebranded and launched online events, with an aim to directly engage 10,000 girls around the UK by the end of 2023, and 250,000 around the world by 2030.
Our aim is to smash the stereotype and inspire the next generation of women in tech, with a focus on those from lower socio-economic and/or ethnic minority backgrounds. One of the ways we do that is by sharing the stories of diverse women working in the industry, across social media and via our events. We believe that if you can see it, you can be it, so these women serve as relatable role models to our audience of teenage girls. In the last 6 months we’ve showcased over 50 women, raising their profiles and celebrating their achievements in the industry.
Our motto is #SmashTheStereotype and our values are Curiosity, Creativity and Community. We show girls that there’s a variety of roles in the tech industry, many of which don’t actually require any technical skills. We encourage them to ask questions, try things out, and be open to different options for their future careers. We help them to build their network of current and future women in tech, to support them on their journeys into the industry.
At Next Tech Girls we’re always looking for companies and volunteers to support our work. If you want to inspire – and be inspired by – the next generation of diverse tech talent, get in touch to discuss ways you and your organisation could get involved in and benefit from our audience and expertise.