A Girl's Guide to Liverpool: Girl Geeks

>> Politics student and feminist blogger Billie Walker will be doing a girls guide to Liverpool which aims to provide you with information on the people and events created around the city to support and celebrate women. For today's post, Billie had a chat with the women behind Liverpool Girl Geeks and why we need more women in tech...

Ada Lovelace and Hedy Lamarr have been widely acknowledged as playing pivotal roles in the progression of technology. However these women’s achievements are rarely taught in schools and the Technology sector is still to a large extent seen as a man’s game. Liverpool Girl Geeks aim to change this.

When I met with Chelsea Slater, co-founder of Liverpool Girl Geeks, she explained to me how discouraged young girls are to follow their passions in the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). As only 17% of the UK tech sector is made up of women, it's no wonder these girls do not see a place for them in this department. Not only does the makeup of the tech world deter these girls from their passions, often parents & teachers do too. Chelsea informed me that teachers have put off some girls from choosing courses because the teacher has told them they will be mostly male dominated. With girls being discouraged from their passions as early as when choosing their GCSEs, it is no wonder that this year 100k tech jobs went unfilled when those inspired to enter these career paths are being prevented at such a young age.

Liverpool Girl Geeks is an organisation geared towards fixing this gender imbalance by inspiring and supporting women in the tech industry. One of their main projects is the Girl Geek Academy at FACT: which is an eight week course for 11-16 year old girls. This course teaches girls important tech skills (the last course being based around coding) but is also designed to show them how these skills can be used creatively and builds their confidence. Feeling supported by the group is as important for these girls as the skills themselves, when they are given little or no encouragement from their schools and peers concerning their interests. Chelsea told me they plan to continue these Girl Geek Academies at FACT, with courses on music and fashion tech to further demonstrate to young girls how many creative paths tech skills can lead them into and soon hope to be offering workshops to universities around Liverpool.

Not only do the Liverpool Girl Geeks encourage teenage girls to take career paths in the tech industry, they also want to inspire women of all ages into learning tech skills. As we are living in a world where children can do more with an iPad than the parent, it is understandable that we all need to learn to be tech-literate. The job market of the 21st Century demands we must be masters of our own publicity and demonstrate to any potential employer how tech savvy we are.  

On Thursday 8th December Liverpool Girl Geeks is hosting a workshop: Get Your Head Around Code. As code is the language used to create apps and websites, it is an extremely useful skill to have and this workshop is for all abilities even the extremely technologically challenged (like me). So if you want the chance to learn a valuable skill in a supportive friendly environment you should definitely join me there. Get your tickets here and read all about Liverpool Girl Geeks here!

By Billie Walker
Follow Billie on Instagram: @lady_bill_ and read her blog here
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