As part of our work engaging potential Friends of The Federation we’ve been working with the wonderful folk in Northcoders. We really wanted them as part of our community because they are such a fit with our ethical values. In learning more about what they do one of their founders James Brooke explained that every cohort they offer two free places to women because they are committed to diversity and changing the ratio #womenintech
Northcoders offer two #womenintech scholarships but there’s a limit to what they are able to do themselves. Which begged the question how many women had applied and were eligible for the course? Turns out they had applications from 20 women which means 18 suitable candidates in Manchester losing out on an amazing opportunity. That’s 18 new women software developers into the tech ecosystem. That’s an opportunity to act that does not come around that often. What if we could make that scale?
In the recent past I worked as an Associate with EY supporting the EY Women Fast Forward programme so I pinged an email to the amazing Uschi Schreiber EY's Global Vice Chair, Markets. It was a simple email. It said “there are 18 women in Manchester qualified to take a course to turn them into software developers, they need some funding can you help”? Two days later I got a response from her “Love this idea. Need to figure out how to support. Give me a day or two”.
And sure enough after two days Gemma Williams who works with Uschi messaged me saying “it’s a go we’ll fund six of them”. Just like that. Typically in big organizations it takes months to get a decision. There is all sorts of bureaucracy to navigate, all sorts of stakeholders who need to get involved. By recognizing the need, by understanding the importance of helping women, by understanding that Northcoders are a young company and by actually “DOING” Uschi and EY have done an amazing thing that will make a genuine impact exactly where we need it most. Giving women the opportunity to enter the technology community gaining employment in a city where 40% of our population are under the poverty line. EY have now committed to funding for this on an annual basis. And so in case you are wondering - this is what leadership looks like.