Ahead Partnership recently brought together female leaders in tech and innovation to celebrate the sixth instalment of Girl Tech Leeds. 

Inspirational women from some of the city’s most influential businesses united to engage with young women from across the city and equip them with rich sector insights ahead of choosing their GCSE options.

The interactive digital insights day was designed by ESG specialist Ahead Partnership and seeks to reach young women who lack awareness or connections to the tech sector. 

By introducing them to the sector’s growing wealth of roles and opportunities, it aims not only to foster their personal development, but to help employers build a diverse pipeline of talent for the future.

The day gave 153 young women from 11 schools across Leeds access to a catalogue of events, including panel sessions, workshops and networking with role models and industry leaders.

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Ahead Partnership delivered this year’s event with the support of several long-standing partners and employers, including Leeds City Council, Netcompany and multi-billion-pound organisation Sulzer. 

Representatives from the organisations had the unique opportunity to network and share personal insights with the next generation of young, female talent, encouraging them to consider a future in technology and innovation.

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“The skills gap in tech is growing, so it’s essential that we engage with young people early and showcase the opportunities that are available to them,” said Dr Suzanne Thoma, executive president of Sulzer.

“This is particularly important for young women; with only 24% of the UK tech industry workers being female, the need for change is clear. As long-standing champions for diversity and inclusion, we are very proud to have teamed up with Ahead Partnership to help spearhead that change.

“It was fantastic to see the young women who took part in each of the activities today grow in confidence across the day, and I hope that it will leave a lasting impact on each of them as they consider the multitude of opportunities available to them in future.”

Girl Tech is the flagship event in Ahead Partnership’s Growing Talent Digital Leeds programme. Led and funded by some of the city’s top employers, the initiative harnesses the combined resources of key employers and partners to inspire and encourage young people aged 10-18 years to pursue a career in digital; address specific skills gaps in the industry; and create an inclusive, diverse and skilled talent pipeline.

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