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Offering Ukrainian women a new start in technology

Posted by Ste Bauman, posted 5 months ago

2 min read

We know that women are only filling 23% of all the digital technology roles in Scotland so there is a need to increase the gender balance of this sector. That’s why we’re launching a “women in Tech” pilot – delivered with Code First Girls and the Capital City Partnership – which will see 60 displaced Ukrainian women re-trained in technology with the opportunity for some to work at Royal Bank of Scotland – our Scottish banking brand.

The programme is a first-of-its-kind in Scotland and will provide valuable career opportunities for displaced women in coding and software engineering. The pilot was showcased to Ukrainian women aboard MS Victoria, a cruise ship serving as temporary accommodation for families from Ukraine currently docked in Edinburgh.

MS Victoria

Why the initiative is important

Wincie Wong, Head of Workforce Technical Capability at Digital X, has said, ‘this initiative builds on our commitment to supporting Ukrainian families and recognises the capability and talent of these women, who have been through so much. I have met many of these women who are highly skilled engineers, lecturers, and mathematicians who have had to do lower paid jobs, if they find one at all, after they’ve arrived. Digital technology is the second fastest growing sector in Scotland, growing at a rate of 1.5 times the entire economy.

‘We also know that women are only filling 23% of all the digital technology roles in Scotland, so there is a need to increase the gender balance of this sector. It made perfect sense for us to be able to provide greater opportunities for this population to find gainful employment in one of our most important areas of the bank.’

Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls, added, ‘We are thrilled to partner with NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland to offer this new opportunity for displaced Ukrainian women to learn vital new skills and embark on a career path in coding and software engineering. We believe that by empowering women in technology, we can help to build a more diverse and inclusive industry that is better equipped to meet the demands of today and innovate for the future.’

How the initiative will work

The bank will sponsor 60 women to complete introductory classes in technology. Ten Ukrainian women will have the opportunity to complete the Code First Girls Degree. If they complete the training and pass the learning outcomes, they will then be offered a permanent role at the bank as Trainee Software Engineers.

The Capital City Partnership will provide wrap-around support to the cohort during their learning journey, while Equate Scotland, the national expert in gender equality throughout the STEM sectors, will provide a programme of career support.

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