Amali de Alwis
Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First: Girls.
Rebecca Wayman

Code First: Girls offers free code training for 1,000 women with OVH partnership

OVH, Europe’s largest cloud services provider, has confirmed that as a result of a partnership with Code First: Girls, a social enterprise driving diversity and skills in the tech sector, 1,000 more women will be trained to code for free over the next two years.

The ongoing partnership is part of OVH’s own mission to play its part in closing the gender gap across the tech industry and support the Code First: Girls programme, which is aiming to train more than 20,000 women to code for free by 2020.

Among those being trained will be up to 150 women from OVH’s own staff and partner networks to continue its push to maintain and build diversity within its own organisation.

According to recent figures by the Office of National Statistics, only 3.9 per cent of programmers and software developers in the tech and telco sector are female.

Antoine Tison, chief human resources officer at OVH, said: “Helping the tech industry close the gender gap is one of our key priorities at OVH.

“One of the biggest challenges the IT industry faces is how to attract more women into a profession that has for too long been dominated by men.

“The statistics in the UK speak for themselves - of all the students taking computer science at A-level only seven per cent are female and just half of the girls that do study IT or tech subjects actually go on to pursue a career in that field.

“Governments and industry need to do more to change perceptions and open-up this world to more women.”

Since the launch of the 20:20 Campaign in December 2017, the number of coding courses run by Code First: Girls has seen a 70 per cent growth semester on semester.

This includes a total of 90 courses running this season, with OVH’s contribution amounting to 1,000 free coding course spots for young women.

Amali de Alwis, CEO of Code First: Girls, added: “It has been a pleasure working alongside OVH.

“For such a leading tech company to get involved in the cause of women in tech, it sends a message to the rest of the industry that its leaders are taking the matter seriously and that actions are being taken to change things.

“Huge progress has been made in the past six months with 1,415 of girls having completed or started one of our training programmes. I look forward to finding out just how far this partnership can take us.”

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