The Tech Girls Movement Foundation campaigns for a future where women will lead and innovate across STEM fields, thus empowering themselves, and bringing broader social and economic benefits.
At Techgirls, we take a timely, holistic and evidence-based approach to targeting normative gender stereotypes through complementary programs. These programs provide girls aged 7-17 with STEM skills, mentoring and positive role-modelling, whilst including the community through industry partnerships, school and parent collaboration. Efficacy of the Techgirls programs is optimised by engaging girls in STEM in the formative stages of their education, before negative societal perceptions are entrenched. STEM skills such as coding and robotics are taught, thereby building girls’ skills and confidence in these fields. Key interpersonal skills are also addressed as the flagship program, the Techgirls Competition, is team-based, workshops provide entrepreneurial skills, and girls build rapport with their mentors who are female industry experts.
Since its inception in 2014, nearly 11,000 schoolgirls in over 500 schools have participated in the Techgirls Competition. In 2020, we moved programs online in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, allowing us to reach 1800 girls in rural, regional and metropolitan Australia.
Our principles are reinforced by the Tech Girls are Superheroes children’s books which are distributed free to schools and portray female STEM industry professionals at the vanguard of solving authentic problems. 80,000 of these have been distributed for free to school libraries.
Techgirls sustainability is further ensured by the growing support of technology industries who recognise the benefits of equity in the workforce and the need for a pipeline of young women to fill industry skills shortages into the future. Tech professionals also value the opportunity to fulfil their community and social responsibilities, with many volunteers committing to mentoring in our programs over successive years. Community partnerships and collaboration are central to the success of the program. Mentors and competition judges are leading industry volunteers, competitions are school-based and rely on teachers as coaches, and parents are inspired to understand the opportunities of the future available to their daughters.