Vic ICT for Women
Team - who worked on the project/initaitve
Go Girl, Go for IT is run by Vic ICT for Women through a sub Steering committee of 17 volunteers. This committee is broken down into 9 subgroups: Account Management, Communications, Facilities, Program, Project Management, Schools Liaison, Sponsorship, Tradeshow, Volunteers. Each subgroup ranges in size from 2 to 10 volunteers.
Steering Committee member/ Communications Stream Lead
Go Girl, Go for IT Director
Overview - a summary to introduce the project or initiative
Go Girl, Go for IT is a free IT 1 day career showcase run by the Victorian ICT for Women network for all Secondary School Girls to hear about the wide range of vocational avenues available in IT. The event aims to excite and engage female secondary school students by introducing them to the vast range of global, lucrative and varied career options in IT.
In the lead up to the event, Go Girl is also introducing female role models who currently work in IT through a campaign called local heroes on the Go Girl Website and through a series of short videos on YouTube with the support of Digital Careers. This is an opportunity for female IT professionals to share their experiences, career journey and why they love to work in IT. The objective of this is to show secondary school girls that there are so many amazing and inspiring women currently working in IT waiting to welcome them to the industry with open arms.
Actions / Initatives - Detail the actions implemented to achieve the project or initative
Go Girl, Go for IT introduces attendees, aging from 13 - 17, to role model speakers who showcase technology of the future, talk about their experiences and challenge their preconceptions of a career in IT. The event is broken down into talks, interactive workshops, and a tradeshow with interactive booths and activities. The girls will get opportunities for to interact with robots, drones, 3D printers as well as sit in workshops in computer labs for hands on demonstrations.
The event is kicked off by a keynote speakers, or patron who can share their story and journey into IT as well as share their passion for IT. The 2014 event patron was Karen Stocks, Managing Director of Twitter Australia. For the 2016 event, Sophie Blachford, Head of Brand Development for Instagram Australia will be sharing her insights on what it is like working in one of the most recognizable digital brands in the world.
The Go Girl Steering Committee also has a team dedicated to raising funds so that transportation to the event is subsidized. We want to make sure that there are no barriers in place for a school to attend the event.
Approach - Detail the approach that was taken on the project or initative
The event is organized and planned by volunteers who make up a Steering Committee which is made up of 9 streams; Account Management, Communications, Competitions, Facilities, Program, Project Management, Schools Liaison, Sponsorship, Tradeshow and Volunteers. Each stream made up of a lead, a 2IC and a group of 2-10 volunteers.
In 2015 Go Girl steering committee members attended school career days, partnered Robogals and participated in women in IT meet up groups, and conferences. The Steering committee was able to interact with secondary school girls, parents, teachers and principals to better understand their interests in IT and what they would want to get out of the event.
In early 2016, with the help of a branding coach from Vic ICT for Women, the Go Girl Steering Committee identified the goals, objectives and hopes for the Go Girl Go Girl as part of a rebranding exercise. A Go Girl persona was then created as the face of the event. This persona is intelligent, confident, strong and most importantly represents any and every girl.
Follow up / response - Details the follow up or response to the project or initative
Deakin University has been running a survey at the 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 event as part of a longitudinal study to capture information to identify lessons learned from each event, document ways to improve the event and identify topics of interest. The findings from each survey are used by the Steering Committee to improve the next event.
Go Girl, Go for IT is the only event of its kind in Australia and is growing every year in both size and support. The 2014 event had 1200 attendees and the 2016 event has over 1900 girls registered from 75 schools. This growth is attributed to the hard work of many volunteers and strategic improvements to every event from previous event lessons learned and survey information.
Go Girl is also adding a new component for teachers so that they can also benefit from the event and program. Information on how to incorporate IT into their curriculum, learn more about current IT trends, start local IT clubs and support each other through meet up groups and communities of practice will be shared.
Action to overcome resistance - Details the actions taken to overcome resistance to the project or initiative
Historically, Go Girl was an event that runs every other year on an even year. This model proved to be very inefficient because schools and supporters were only engaged every other year. This also meant that Steering Committees had to start from scratch at the start of every year after a lot of support and momentum was lost due to a year of disengagement. After the 2014 event, Go Girl has evolved into a two year program which continues engaging schools, principles and corporate sponsors.
The Steering Committee ran a competition in 2015 for secondary school girls to submit ideas on what the 2016 event design and twitter hashtag would be. This was done in order to leverage the creativity of our event attendees and give the girls a voice in the event theme.
The Steering Committee will be organising a coding camp in 2017 to continue building on the momentum created by the event later this year. It is our hope to run smaller events and competitions in between Go Girl events to provide more opportunities to young girls to get involved in tech related events made specifically for them.