Liverpool social enterprise InnovateHer reaches 37,000 young people in the past year in its push to get more girls into tech, a new impact report shows. Tony McDonough reports
InnovateHer has released figures showing a big leap in the number of young people it is reaching in its attempt to consider more girls to pursue careers in tech and digital.
This year celebrating its 10th anniversary, the social enterprise was originally called Liverpool Girl Geeks. It was rebranded to InnovateHer when its work took it beyond the boundaries of Liverpool city region.
A new impact report shows that over the last decade it has impacted more than 46,000 girls in an effort to persuade them to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and go on to have careers in the traditionally male-dominated tech sector.
However, thanks to more funding and a big expansion in its footprint InnovateHer has reached out to 37,000 young people in its last financial years alone via assemblies, webinars, and training. This represents an 804% year-on-year increase.
Whilst there is still plenty of work to be done to level the playing field, with women only making up 24% of the tech workforce, the engagement with the industry at grassroots level is improving.
InnovateHer is working with more than 10,000 students through its schools programme this year. In the programme, students have had the opportunity to learn about careers in tech, join mock interview days and attend job fairs.
There has been a 20% uplift of students taking tech related subjects at GCSE in schools InnovateHer has partnered with.
This year, InnovateHer also launched a new job board, promoting opportunities with an average salary of £44,600, which is £9,000 above the UK average for 30–39-year-olds.
The InnovateHer partner community also grew in 2022-23, with 21 companies now working directly with the enterprise to improve their diversity and inclusion.
In June LBN revealed the organisation had secured new funding totalling £530,000. £480,000 has come from Lancashire defence giant BAE Systems and a further £50,000 from Innovate UK’s Future Flight Fund.
Chelsea Slater, chief executive and founder of InnovateHer said: “It’s mind-blowing to think that in the 10 years since I first had the idea of an enterprise to get girls into tech, we’ve reached over 46,000 students and worked with more than 50 companies.
“And while the landscape has changed positively in that time, from doing this work, I’ve realised it takes serious investment, collaboration and Government backing to make the societal change we want to see.
“We need to be consistent, with a long-term commitment to making things better for women in tech, so that we can confidently steer girls into that career path from an early age.”