Trainline and Code First: Girls launch women in tech programme

Trainline had teamed up with Code First: Girls to pledge to help 20,000 women learn to code by 2020.

With International Women's Day on Thursday, the two organisations are launching a free programme looking to get many more women into STEM roles. According to the UK Office of National Statistics' most recent figures, only 3.9% of tech and telco professionals in the UK were female programmers and software developers and Trainline, a travel app company, said the partnership comes at a critical time for women in the UK tech industry.

As well as financial support, Trainline will help deliver the training programme by providing in-house specialists as mentors. It will also open up the programme for women at Trainline who would like to learn how to code.

The diversity drive aims to raise 1.5 million - 500,000 each year for three years to upskill 20,000 women in the UK in coding.

Clare Gilmartin, CEO of Trainline, said that tackling gender imbalance and championing talent is "at the absolute core" of the company's culture. "An increase in female programmers, developers and engineers will have profound benefits to the UK's tech economy, its businesses and its customers," she added.

Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First: Girls, said that she looked forward to supporting Trainline with "building and tapping into a talent pool of incredible women looking to develop their careers in tech, as well as to help women understand what tech oriented careers are available to them".

As part of a growing focus on how to improve gender representation in the tech industry, a Women in Technology World Series roundtable in London discussion recently examined the role that men can play in advocating gender equality in the workplace.

Head of culture and inclusion at M&C Saatchi Group, Sereena Abbassi, said that there needs to be a real emphasis on creating working environments in which men feel that they can take up shared paternity leave. "The primary caregiver in a family should be a gender-neutral role. The onus can't just be on women; we need to start working in tandem with men in order to create greater gender equality," she said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.