The project partnership wishes to share the lessons with all the interested training and education specialists, policy makers and practitioners in adult education. Our project intended to establish best practice in how to "break the glass ceiling" of access to quality ICT learning and self-learning amongst disadvantaged women, women who lack basic ICT knowledge and who may also have a low level of technological confidence. The project offered compensatory learning in basic IT and programming skills through mentoring, training and confidence-building measures, including “leading by example” of women who have become successful in ICT.
In the past years there has been a debate about the size of the actual skills deficit within the IT sector in Europe, but even the most optimistic forecasts says that around 700,000 ICT jobs will be needed to fill by applicants outside of the European labour market by 2020. So women will definitely have a well paid job in any of the EU countries if they dare to enter the IT labour market. But what chances do they have if they are a complete beginners, if they…
- do not yet know what is the difference between a “front-end” and “back-end developer?
- never excelled in Math, nor had higher education in a technical field?
- have heard several times the IT is not for girls?
- live in a remote area, far from the buzzing “silicon valleys” of their countries?
- and above all they do not yet have high level English language competence?
The project consortium developed all their products in various languages (Dutch, English, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian) for better accessibility to our target group. We are aware that English is a must for programming, but low level of English language competence should not be an obstacle in making a decision to start learning IT. Their intention of building a career in ICT should rather be motivated women taking part in our pilot activities to start developing their language skills concomitantly with starting a course in ICT. All basic IT training/ coding programmes emphasize that anyone can learn how to program as long as they are willing to put in the time and effort. This was the presumption that the LIFT project team built its curriculum and learning platform upon, that is meant to encourage women to dare to think about entering the ICT job market, offering them basic introduction to the world of ICT and coding, introduction available not only in English but also in Dutch, in Hungarian, Italian, in Portuguese and in Spanish. The Roadmap Paper developed within the project is aimed at adult education organisations all over Europe, who would like to start a basic training programme in ICT, aimed at women with low level of education, living in rural areas, unemployed and not involved in education, encourage them to think of re-training and career opportunities in the ICT sector. In the Roadmap paper we shortly describe the LIFT pilot experience of the project partners, offering tips and hints based on the lessons that we have learnt while developing and testing the LIFT project outcomes, then we give an insight in what we learnt from successful, nonstereotypical women working in the ICT sector and how their video testimonies and career paths can help “lead by example”.
For more details about the project and its’ results please visit the project website: https://ladiescode.eu/en