Interact, an energy efficiency IT specialist, recently hosted an IT sustainability event to KS3 and KS4 students at the National Museum of Computing.
Designed to teach the next generation how to be more responsible with technology and cut down on waste, this is exactly the kind of event that fits with the ethos of Managing Director, Rich Kenny, encompassing three of the main issues his company advocates for – sustainability, education and gender equality.
The future is in good hands
Over the last few years Rich Kenny has worked with local Yorkshire schools and the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Skills & Employability Board to advise on what the future of jobs will look like and to educate the young about careers in sustainability and technology.
Rich feels passionately that, ‘The business sector must demonstrate that technology can be a powerful tool to reduce consumption and waste and that fulfilling careers can be found in technology, regardless of your gender.’
At the National Museum of Computing, students were given the opportunity to tear down laptops into their components to see exactly what goes into making a device tick. These fun, interactive sessions focusing on real-life applications may hold the key to tempt students into considering computer science at GCSE, helping to fill a considerable skills gap in the UK.
Where are the girls?
Gender Equality is an issue that has been picked up by many organisations in the technology sector. At Interact, we passionately believe that diversity is the key to stimulating innovation.
Head of Sustainability Astrid Wynne states, ‘The team has always been either a 50-50 split of men and women or skewed towards the female side. This has historically been more about good team members than gender. However, we believe it keeps a good balance of perspectives and approaches that is beneficial.’
To that end, Interact support UN Sustainable Development Goal number 5 ‘Gender Equality’, setting targets to ensure women’s full participation in leadership and decision making within Interact and to promote empowerment of women through technology.
The IT sustainability event was part of Interact’s commitment to empowering women in technology. The enthusiasm and expertise by female students we witnessed only serves to underline how tech does not just appeal to ‘the boys’.
‘You can’t be what you can’t see’
This quote by Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund highlights the barrier to women in computer science – a lack of role models.
Recent statistics revealed that only 19% of the tech workforce are women and that black and Hispanic women are even more under-represented – at 3% and 5% respectively.
Almost half of the presenters at the event were female. At Interact, we believe that educational leaders and tech companies are the key to inspiring female students to engage with computer science and to visualise a career in tech.
Read the full article here.
More about Interact’s UN Sustainable Development Goals here.