Large-scale project ‘500 Women in Tech’ successfully concludes, exceeding expectations
Information and communications technology (ICT) is one of the world’s fastest-growing, most-promising and highest-paid fields. At the same time, gender stereotypes, which continue to strongly influence choices of profession, consider this industry a ‘man’s job’, which reduces the opportunities for women to choose their desired career, professional development and employment in profitable positions.
The same is revealed by statistical data: according to the data of the International Telecommunication Union, the share of women employed in ICT in Georgia is 12 per cent, and only 14.5 per cent of the graduates of the respective faculties are girls. UN Women, with the support of the Norwegian Government and in partnership with the private sector, is actively working to change existing stereotypes and increase the involvement of girls in technology.
The project “500 Women in Tech” was part of this effort. Implemented in cooperation with Business and Technology University and partner ICT companies, the project launched in 2021 and concluded at the end of May 2023.
“500 Women in Tech” was intended to provide free training for 500 women across the country in popular IT professions, but the project generated such unprecedented interest that the number of participants eventually grew to 1,000. It should be noted that among them were women and girls from Ukraine who had to leave their homeland because of the war.
Salome Gigniashvili, who studied UI/UX design with the help of the project, says: “‘500 Women in Tech’ [was] an amazing opportunity for those who are beginners and want to establish themselves in technology. It’s been a year since I completed the course, and I’ve already managed to work as a UI/UX designer in two international companies. Even today, I’m learning a lot and I have big plans.”
Along with providing instruction to master various professions, the six-month course combined intensive English language training, practical assignments, a career boot camp, entrepreneurship seminars, individual mentoring and internships. The project also offered participants employment forums and opportunities to work in the industry. It was with the help of the programme that one of the participants, Laka Nodia, got a job and studied front-end development. “I am happy that I got a chance to try out the technology field for myself,” Laka says. “I took this opportunity as a challenge. And today, thanks to this project, I am working as a junior web developer at the financial organization ‘Crystal’.”
“500 Women in Tech” was part of the women’s economic empowerment component of the project “Good Governance for Gender Equality in Georgia”, which is implemented by UN Women with the support of the Norwegian Government.