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Durham University

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How we started a #womenintech revolution

(29 June 2020)

Tech Up Women - How far we've come!

In 2019, we launched TechUPWomen, a programme that took 100 women from the north and midlands (UK) and retrained them for a career in technology.

We wanted to start a women in tech revolution. We wanted to address the fact that only 17% of the tech workforce is female, and the under-representation of women from Black, Asian and other minority or under-represented communities.

In spring 2020, our TechUPWomen participants graduated from the six month programme, equipped with skills in subjects such as data science, machine learning, and project management.

TechUPWomen was as much about retraining for a tech career as it was about inspiring self-belief and confidence. To see how far our participants had come made graduation a really proud moment for us and no doubt for our partners involved in the programme, too

Award winner

We were even prouder when we recently scooped a national award for TechUpWomen at the Digital Agenda Impact Awards, which celebrates how technology and innovation improves lives.

In a virtual ceremony, Professor Sue Black from our Computer Sciences department picked up the award on behalf of the team in the employment and skills category, which recognises initiatives that change ways into employment and increase skills.

Professor Black, who is a pioneer of women in technology and founder of #techmums, and Computer Scientist, Professor Alexandra Cristea, collaborated with industry on the programme.

Whilst studying on the programme course participant, Benedicta Banga launched her own App, Blaqbase, and continues to drive this forward with new functionality, which was released last week.

After completing the programme in January 2020, Shakirah Mustapha-Tahir, is now working for HR in One as Content Manager and has been elected Board Trustee of Being Woman UK.

Fellow graduate, Winona Sharpe, started a new position as Junior Release Associate with Double Eleven Ltd, a games developer based in Teesside.

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