A group of Teesside University students is developing a strategy to encourage more women into the digital industries.
The four students are members of the newly-formed DigitalCity Student Board and one of their objectives is to increase the number of women studying and working in digital in the Tees Valley.
The board will also help staff at DigitalCity to formulate an overarching digital strategy for the region.
DigitalCity, which is based at Teesside University, is acknowledged as a major catalyst for economic regeneration in the Tees Valley.
‘It has already helped create hundreds of new companies, as well as working with existing business to improve their digital skills.
One of the initiative’s key missions is to encourage more women into the digital sector and Laura Woods, the director of The Forge, Teesside University’s business hub, believes the Student Board will play a major role in achieving this.
She said: ‘The tech industry is traditionally male-dominated and it needs to be more diverse.
‘I want this region to be the most proactive in the country when it comes to encouraging women into digital and look at ways in which we can demonstrate good practice.
‘We’ll be looking at everything from speaking to young people right through to trying to change the behaviour of large businesses.
I’ve been extremely impressed with the four members of the Student Board and they are already coming up with some excellent ideas about how we might tackle the issue.’
The members of the DigitalCity Student Board are:
Members of the group have already been invited to Westminster to present their initial findings to national politicians and members of the House of Lords.
They will also work closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to look at ways to influence changes in behaviour to encourage more women into digital.
Alexandra said: ‘We want to challenge the perceptions that this is an industry for men and give women a voice and show that they can succeed in it as well.’
Natalie added: ‘If we can target women when they’re younger – maybe just before they take their options – we can help make them aware of the opportunities that are available to them in the digital industries.’