Spend the day with Nationwide, MAMA.codes and TechGirls

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Spend the day with Nationwide, MAMA.codes and TechGirls
Liv Shaw

Spend the day with Nationwide, MAMA.codes and TechGirls

In February 2023, Lorien partnered with Nationwide Building Society, MAMA.codes and TechGirls to educate and inspire a young group of girls at the Nationwide Post Building in London.

In February 2023, Lorien partnered with Nationwide Building Society, MAMA.codes and TechGirls to educate and inspire a young group of girls at Nationwide headquarters, The Post Building, in London.

The day offered sessions to Year 7 girls from Oasis Academy Hadley on the power of technology to create change, with Q&As from female tech experts and opportunities to develop coding skills. Here’s a brief overview of what happened on the day.

Arriving bright and early

The day began with a tour of the iconic offices at the Nationwide Post Building in Holborn, Central London, including the roof terrace. It was the girls’ first trip since starting high school, and many of them had never seen or experienced a corporate environment, so it was important to welcome them.

The tour was followed by a session from Sukvinder Kathuria, CEO of TechGirls, a UK-based outreach provider that supports school to enrich their STEM experience through fun, interactive and inclusive STEM workshops for primary and secondary school students.

This session focused on famous women – past and present – who have worked in technology and followed the impact they have had on the industry. The session then moved on to highlight how technology can support sustainability, such as removing plastic from the ocean and measuring progress.

Based on this theme, the girls were split into groups and tasked with designing their own app or game to support sustainability and educate other young children on the topic. This activity was mapped out on whiteboards, with the girls asked to do a short presentation around their idea, the colours they’d use and the specific age they would aim their product at. The engagement from the girls was brilliant with all of them creating some kind of wireframe and user story explaining the logic behind their product whilst considering gamification, engagement and target audience.

Learning from women in tech

Following on from this, we invited eight colleagues from the Technology Development Programme (TDP)– a career kick-starter in IT for students and graduates offered by Nationwide – to give presentations about their career journey and how to get in to a career in technology. This included what subjects they studied in education, their job history, why they wanted to get into technology and their average day at Nationwide. The group then had a lunch break in the Nationwide canteen so they could continue to experience the corporate technology environment they had been working in throughout the morning.

After lunch, the girls were joined by MAMA.codes, an organisation who focus on making coding accessible to young children between the ages of three and eleven, who brought laptops and a teacher along with them to educate the girls on the free Scratch programme where they have the opportunity to design their own interactive stories, games and animations.

In the final activity of the day, Liane Katz, founder of MAMA.codes, joined a panel of TDP colleagues to offer a Q&A session to the girls. Questions asked included what advice they would give to young women, their favourite aspect of their jobs, how to get into technology and their day-to-day role.

The day was a huge success and gave the students a unique ‘behind the scenes’ insight into the world of technology from the world’s largest building society. With women making up just 19% of the tech workforce, events like these are so important to educate and inspire the next generation to consider a career in STEM, and we are pleased to have been a part of it.

Feedback on the day was incredibly positive, with Matt Lochead, Client Services Manager at Lorien saying:

“Working with organisations such as TechGirls and MAMA.codes has been a fantastic experience and the group of girls that attended the Nationwide offices clearly had a brilliant day getting to see a state-of-the-art Tech Hub and engaging in so many activities. Turning the dial on what young girls believe is possible was truly inspiring and hearing from current employees at Nationwide about their journey really highlighted that you don’t have to follow a particular pathway in to tech”

We are thankful to Nationwide Building Society and our partners at MAMA.codes and TechGirls for working with us to bring this event to life, and we look forward to offering similar events in the future. To learn about our other CSR partnerships, click here. We also offer technology insights and news, which are available to view here.

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