A technology initiative, led partly by Durham University, has won an award in recognition of its efforts to address the under-representation of women working in the technology industry.
TechUpWomen, led by Durham University along with three partner universities and industry, won in the diversity and inclusion category at the recent Dynamite 20 awards for their work in retraining minority groups, including women from BAME and under-represented communities.
The virtual awards were hosted by the not-for-profit group, Dynamo, which aims to grow the North East technology sector.
Women make up just 17 per cent of the UK technology work-force. Recent figures also suggest that just four per cent of the UK tech workforce is black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME).
TechUP was launched in 2019 by Professor Sue Black OBE, a Professor of Computer Science at Durham University and founder of #techmums, and fellow Professor of Computer Science at Durham, Professor Alexandra Cristea.
TechUP graduates have found success in areas such as gaming development and content management.
64 TechUP graduates have gone on to find a new job or get a promotion, enrol in further education, or have explored other career or education pathways.
Professor Black has also been involved in efforts to increase the number of female students studying Computer Science at Durham University. This year, 45 female students began a Computer Science degree at the University, which is double the number of female students from the previous year.
Commenting on the win, Professor Black said: “We are so proud to have won this award which recognises our hard work, effort and dedication to create more diversity in the technology industry.
“TechUP brought together women from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Not only did the participants complete the course with new skills to equip them for a technology career, they also grew in confidence, gained self-belief, and formed new friendships.
“We started something unique when we launched TechUP and this award makes us more determined than ever to close the women in technology gap.”
Image: Ali Tollervey