Recruitment & HR

Carnival UK, which operates P&O Cruises and Cunard, has joined leading travel firms in actively searching for female tech talent in partnership with Code First Girls – the largest provider of free coding courses and employment opportunities for women in the UK.

Carnival UK joins other major players in the sector including TUI,, Skyscanner, The Travel Corporation, and Travel Perk in partnering with Code First Girls, which works with over 120 partners in the UK and globally to actively place women into tech roles and close the industry’s stark gender gap.

By 2025 it is estimated there will be five million new technology jobs in the recreation and travel industry. As a result, Code First Girls is seeing an increasing number of women looking beyond roles offered by traditionally big tech firms, with organisations across the travel industry needing tech talent.

By actively recruiting women from non-technical backgrounds and employing a more diverse workforce, the UK’s leading travel firms are able to draw on the widest possible range of voices and insights, ensuring continued innovation and creative solutions.

Analysis of the latest ONS Annual Population Survey reveals that women make up only 19% of Information Technology professionals in the UK, including cyber security and software development professionals, and 30% of web design professionals. The travel industry, however, employs more women than men – with 54% of those working in the travel and leisure industry currently women.

In 2022 alone, Code First Girls provided 44,861 opportunities for women to learn how to code, compared to just 6,450 women who embarked upon undergraduate computing degrees in the UK.

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“We’re excited to partner with Carnival to help women break into the tech industry, whilst providing businesses across the travel sector with access to the top diverse talent they need in order for their tech offering to flourish,” said Anna Brailsford, CEO at Code First Girls.

“Through our partnerships with leading travel firms, we’re helping to close the long-term gender gap in the tech industry by giving women the opportunity to learn to code and get jobs in tech, at no cost to them. Just over half of the industry is made up of women and is therefore a leading light for a gender balanced workforce.

“Code First Girls continues to grow at a rapid pace, and we look forward to working with more businesses in this sector to bring exceptional opportunities to businesses as well as the individuals themselves.”

Matt Denny, CTO at Carnival UK, said: “Our partnership with Code First Girls is helping us to address some of the challenges women face as they seek a career in technology. This starts with our sponsorship of 95 high potential women and non-binary individuals to level up with an 8-week beginner course, plus four Code First Girls degree places – creating four opportunities for Junior Data Developers to join our Data team here at Carnival UK. 

“Technology underpins and enables every aspect of our business – we are constantly growing, and we want to ensure that as we grow, we represent our community and our guests.”

Jaana Inkinen, a Code First Girls Graduate and software engineer at Skyscanner, said: “I came from a non-technical background and knew nothing about coding until I was 39 years old. 

“Being able to re-train with Code First Girls at this point in my life has been priceless, and the job opportunity Skyscanner offered me as part of the CFGdegree has completely changed my life.”

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