Global operator Entain has marked International Women’s Day with a series of international initiatives to support girls and young women interested in building careers in technology, and continue the revolutionise the way people socialise, work and play.
Girls Who Code, an international non-profit organisation working to close the gender gap in technology, is to receive US$250,000 from the Entain Foundation, its not-for-profit affiliate, to support its global programmes to bring young women into the technology industry, most notably in the UK, US, Canada and India.
To read an exclusive interview with Grainne Hurst, Corporate Affairs Director at Entain, and Deborah Singer, CMO at Girls Who Code, click here or watch the video above.
The Entain Foundation is also providing AU$50,000 funding to the Tech Girls Movement Foundation in Australia, which challenges gender perceptions that limit girls’ participation in STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics) through community and industry collaborations, providing mentorship by women who already have successful technology careers to young women looking for guidance on career choices.
The new initiatives follow recent senior female appointments to the leadership team at Entain, including that of new chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen and two new non-executive board directors, Stella David and Vicky Jarman, taking female representation of Entain’s Board to 40 per cent. Almost half of Entain’s workforce is female, including over 30 per cent in technology roles.
Nygaard-Andersen commented: “I’m proud to be leading a global technology company which is making real strides in promoting women’s careers, not just in the West, but also developing markets like India where creating opportunities for young women is especially important.
“One of the biggest impediments to career choices around the world continues to be cultural, based on preconceived notions of what society and young women themselves believe they can do. That is why we are focusing on initiatives to support their education and build stronger pathways into technology-related careers.”
Speaking about the partnership, Dr. Tarika Barrett, incoming CEO of Girls Who Code, said: “Passionate, ambitious and diverse young women are the key to transforming the world and the technical workforce. This International Women’s Day, we’re excited to partner with the Entain Foundation to support young women around the world on their journey into the technical workforce.
“Our work together will help spur the creation of a fairer and more equitable workforce, helping more women of all backgrounds rise to the top and achieve their goals of working in tech.”
This funding will help Girls Who Code continue to expand its global pipeline of programmes to spark girls’ interest in technology. This pipeline includes free coding clubs, at home modules, virtual mentoring, panels and workshops as well as career fairs and other. Through these programmes, Girls Who Code has reached more than 300,000 young women globally and has more than 80,000 college-aged alumni, who are majoring in Computer Science and related fields at 15 times the US average.
Speaking about the contribution, Founder & CEO of Tech Girls Movement, Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen OAM said: “We strongly believe that the challenges of the future are best addressed through youth-focused initiatives. The profile, affiliations and notable gains of Techgirls thus far have created a momentum that places us in the best position for continued achievement of these crucial objectives.
“Our flagship programme, the Techgirls competition, is held annually and invites teams of schoolgirls to solve real-world problems through technology, linking them to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“The financial contribution from Entain Foundation will directly impact our ability to reach girls interested in technology across Australia, particularly in regional and remote areas.”
The announcement coincides with a panel event held for global employees of Entain to mark International Women’s Day, following this year’s theme of ‘Choose to Challenge’, celebrating the achievements of women and challenging gender bias and inequality. Nygaard-Andersen will open the event which will include a panel including Simon O’Halloran, Chief People Officer, and Sophie Hawley, Entain’s Inclusion Manager.