Women In Technology
In partnership with: Fondazione Mondo Digitale
A lot of contemporary intellectuals agree on one point. The XXI century is the century of women. WIT (Women in Technology) can transform this idea into reality. Designed by Fondazione Mondo Digitale, the project aims to direct young women – living in regions with a high unemployment rate – to entrepreneurship and provide them with skills that will be essential for the world of work and help them to express their potential in society.
The world where we live is evolving rapidly. In order to keep up with these frenzied changes, it is important to make constant efforts aimed at developing skills enabling us “not to be left out”. The expression does not only refer to missed opportunities of entering the world of work, but, from a more general viewpoint, to the isolation which pertains to one’s personal and social life.
In relation with this, the issue of NEETs – young adults who are Not Engaged in Education, Employment or Training – has been sparking concern at European level. In Italy, for instance, one in four people aged between 15 and 24 belongs to this category. If we take young women into consideration, particularly in southern regions, the percentage increases worryingly and is close to reaching 50%.
In a job market that is undergoing a deep transformation whereby several typical jobs of the industrial society have gradually been disappearing, interesting opportunities are opening up in the ICT industry. However, in a country like Italy which lacks digital literacy, the percentage of women attending scientific degree courses or engaging in ICT and technology is still low, though on the rise over the last few years.
In order to prevent the emergence of NEETs among young women, Women In Technology aims to direct more than 200 school girls to ICT skills and careers.
The project does not only intend to boost the development of technical skills, but also to work on some of the so called XXI century skills, such as entrepreneurship, self-awareness, problem solving and planning and leadership skills. This is in line with “No-one must be left behind”, the ethical imperative of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards 2030.
The students involved are attending the third and fourth year in technical high schools of four large cities in Southern Italy, i.e. Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Naples and Ciampino.
In order to activate virtuous circles, it is necessary to involve young women in motivating educational journeys with the goal of putting them in the right conditions to do a qualified job in the future.
The first stage was about training the students’ teachers. The focus was on global and personal concepts connected to today’s world, such as new organizing models and problem solving on the one hand and self-awareness and recognition of talent on the other hand.
This phase was followed by a blended – both classroom and online lessons – module aiming to activate in the young students the desire to identify, deal with and find solutions to the problems faced by their environment and communities.
Later on, the participants were asked to produce social innovation micro-business projects within which they were able to use the skills acquired. Among them are: definition of a business idea, elaboration of a business plan, creation of PowerPoint presentations and strategic use of social media.