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Goldman Sachs partners with Code First: Girls

PROGRESS: Code First: Girls

LEADING GLOBAL banking and financial services company Goldman Sachs announced its partnership with Code First: Girls, a multi award-winning U.K.-based social enterprise focused on diversity and skills in the technology sector.

Goldman Sachs is sponsoring Code First: Girls’ 20:20 campaign which aims to train 20,000 women to code for free by the end of 2020. The campaign builds on Code First: Girls’ achievements in teaching over 5,000 women to code in the last three years, drawing on that success and significantly expanding its reach and impact; and works to redress the imbalance by helping women develop the coding and leadership skills they need to fill these roles and increase their representation in technology and entrepreneurship, for their benefit and also for the benefit of the U.K. digital economy.

In 2017, looking at technology and telco professionals in the U.K., only 3.9% were female programmers and software developers, a number that has gone down from 10% in 2007. This partnership specifically aims to address this critical and growing skills gap in the United Kingdom.

According to Tech City UK's Tech Nation report, the UK will need another 1 million technology and digital workers by 2020 and with UK University applications agency UCAS finding the UK had less than 27,000 individuals registered to do a Computer Science degree in 2016, of which only 3,775 (14%) were women, increasing diversity and numbers overall in the tech talent pipeline is critical for UK businesses.

The partnership with Code First: Girls builds on Goldman Sachs commitment to STEM and technology organisations such as Oxford Go Girls, IT for SHE and Girls Who Code and supports their continued commitment to increasing diversity and supporting young women into technology careers.

“We are delighted to partner with Code First: Girls, bringing coding skills to 20,000 women by 2020,” said Joanne Hannaford, head of the Technology Division for EMEA at Goldman Sachs. “Technology is crucial to our business and we are pleased to work together to expand access to coding in the UK and develop future technology talent.”

Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First: Girls commented: “One of the biggest barriers to women entering the tech industry is education, and our 20:20 campaign is designed to address this by providing skills that are critical to the digital economy.

"Since we launched the campaign in early December, we have been able to increase the number of coding courses we offer across the UK and Ireland by 40%, and look to enrol 1500 young women onto free coding courses in the first quarter of 2018 alone. We are pleased to partner with Goldman Sachs to deliver a programme to help boost these numbers by delivering our 20:20 campaign.”

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