From April 12 to 16, twenty 8th to 10th grade girls in Dijon (students in their 3rd to 5th year in secondary school) took part in the Girls'R Coding introductory course organized for the second year running by i-BP, a subsidiary of Groupe BPCE, and its partners.
Twenty candidates were selected to learn how to code during their week’s vacation and to take part in this initiative to promote greater gender diversity in the IT industry, allowing them to discover these professional activities at first hand but also, perhaps, to think about pursuing a future career in this area themselves.
As the practical organization of the event was disrupted by the COVID lockdown measures, a certain number of activities had to be excluded… but the friendly atmosphere was preserved intact. The candidates met every afternoon via Teams supervised by the personnel and coaches from i-BP but also by their colleagues from the Banque Populaire Bourgogne Franche-Comté and the partners of the operation: Alteca, DIIAGE (a private university based in Dijon), the University of Burgundy, and Lycée Saint-Joseph.
Sending powerful messages
While women currently account for less than 30% of the workforce in the digital sector, the event provided an opportunity to send a number of powerful messages: the fact that no barriers prevent women from entering the IT professions, the wealth of career opportunities available in this industry, and the variety and interest of the activities to be found there.
Mixing business with pleasure
The week's program also included a host of creative activities. These were designed both to preserve the event’s convivial atmosphere and to stimulate the participants, who were able to test their IT knowledge through online quizzes, take part in the weekly contest consisting of several challenges, or to lead the investigation in a “murder party.” And because the subject at the heart of this week of initiation was the place of women in IT, they were also given an opportunity to talk about the different professions and to join in a round-table discussion led by women working in IT.