There has been a long-standing gender imbalance in the IT sector: there is a significant disparity between the number of men and women. One of the factors contributing to this is the existence of societal and familial stereotypes, with parents often directing their daughters towards traditionally “feminine” fields. As a result, girls have limited opportunities to familiarize themselves with IT and the world of technology from an early age.
The early years of childhood play a crucial role in shaping interests, ambitions, and skills. If girls are not given the chance to explore IT during this period, they may never discover their passion for this domain.
This matter holds immense significance not only in terms of equal opportunities but also for the overall effectiveness of our economy and society. Excluding half of the population from such a pivotal and promising sector implies losing out on a vast potential for national development, economic growth, and our country’s competitiveness. It is imperative to develop IT programs specifically tailored for girls, making this field more accessible and appealing to them. Equally important is the work with parents, explaining that even humanities-related professions today encompass technology and innovation.
To address this challenge collectively, STEP IT Academy and the non-profit organization “Femmes Digitales” – “Supporting Women in TECH” have entered into a collaborative agreement on May 31st, 2023. Recognizing the issue of gender inequality in the IT field, STEP IT Academy, with the support of “Femmes Digitales,” is initiating a joint campaign to ensure the accessibility of IT education for girls. As part of this campaign, an extraordinary 25% discount is being offered on all long-term educational programs for 8-14 years old girls. To avail this exceptional opportunity, applicants need to use the promo code “Femmes Digitales” during the application process.
Furthermore, within the framework of this memorandum, the following areas of collaboration will be undertaken: preparation and implementation of joint IT education projects in Azerbaijan, involving state and non-governmental organizations in addressing the issues of computerization and digitization of education, familiarization with the standards of using information technology in industry, conducting joint seminars, conferences, educational programs, forums, and exhibitions, providing organizational, consulting, and expert-analytical support for joint events, and participating in the organization of seminars and conferences on IT education topics. By reducing financial barriers, STEP IT Academy and “Femmes Digitales” make IT education accessible to a greater number of girls, allowing them to learn and develop their skills in this field. Such educational programs will contribute to increasing women’s participation in IT, fostering progress and innovation within the industry.
It is important to note that for the past 7 years, STEP IT Academy has actively participated in all regional events organized by “Femmes Digitales”. These programs aim to promote and attract Azerbaijani girls from various regions to the realm of information and communication technologies. Charitable initiatives have already reached over 600 girls, and during practical sessions, Academy mentors acquaint them with the fundamentals of coding and robotics.