What is it like to work in the technology industry and where can you study IT? Super-Ada event, Finland aims at encouraging girls and young women to study technology by representing the IT industry now and in the future.
The primal theme of the event is a fun competition track consisting of different technology-related work tasks. The girls compete in teams of 3-4. There are eight different stations and the winning team will be rewarded with summer jobs. There were also some other prizes such as iPad Minis.
During the event the participants have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with technology education on the exhibition stands as well as hear the career stories and current female influencers in IT industry.
The event is free for the participating girls to enter.
In Finland, less than 24% of IT students and employees are women. SuperAda is a campaign organized aiming at getting more girls and young women in the IT industry. The campaign’s name is inspired by the world’s first programmer, Ada Lovelace.
The main goal is to attract especially girls and young women between 16 and 22 years to the IT industry. In addition to that, the event brings together female influencers, learning institutions and corporations within the industry.
General Structure: Single Event
University, organisation or school can organize this event with the help of the local networks i.e. network of IT workers, industry and volunteers. In Finland, this is organised with the Nicetuesday network. This event is a one-day event but it can be organised more than once in a year. Firstly, the network must be built. One needs to find the people who are interested in encouraging females to study IT and companies who want to hire new starters, especially women. In Finland, you need to get statements from the equality office, to ensure that you can organize an event which is targeted only to the girls.
Secondly, one needs to organize a day with the help of the network. During the day, girls have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the IT industry and companies. You need a big open space, like a fair centre – tables and stands for the exhibitors (representatives of the IT industry and universities and school). Exhibitors give short presentations to the girls about what it is to work within an IT industry, and the schools explain what kinds of education possibilities they have.
The day starts with a funny competition, and girls can compete as a group. The prize for the best group is a summer job at the IT Company. The competition is like orienteering exercise. Girls must visit different exhibition stands and answer a series of simple questions.
After the competition, there is a panel discussion. In the panel discussion, the most notable women of the field will speak about their own education and work in the field and answer the questions of the girls.
At the end of the day, the winners of the competition will be published.
Main Event Duration: 1 day
Project Duration: Several Months
Main event duration is the full day. But organising the event will take several months.
2.1 Staff & Volunteers
Volunteer Requirements: Core organising team, colobrators from IT industries and schools
The main organiser is normally a women network which needs a place to run this kind of event as well as some partner institutions. In Finland, the partners would normally be the University of Applied Sciences (Haaga-Helia). We have run this four times and normally the partners have very good contacts with the IT industry and can negotiate with them 1) the summer jobs 2) participation to the fair (exhibition) 3) negotiate the sponsor for the lunch and coffee. The women network job is to find the participants for the panel discussion.
Normally, the university needs volunteers to organize the fair, to get the tables, chairs and help participants on the day. Volunteers need no special qualifications.
There needs to be a chairperson who runs the staged events. He or she should speak well and have a good sense of humour.
2.2 Venue Hire
Capacity: around 100 people
The venue is indoors. For example the assembly hall. The venue should be big enough to house the fair and it should have a rostrum for the panel discussion.
2.3 Partner Institutions
Partner Institutions: Required
A women’s network is crucial. Also the association of the IT industry is a good partner. Without the IT companies it is impossible to organise this kind of an event.
In Finland, this kind of event is organised as a voluntary basis. No personal or marketing fees. The university is providing the venue for free and both universities, women networks and IT companies are marketing the event on their own communication channels. Lunch and coffee come from the sponsors. The event is free of charge for the girls.
3.1 Target Audience
Target Audience: Girls 16-22
Before you kick off with your first event, think carefully about whom you are targeting. This should not be specific: what kinds of audiences can this event be applied to? What are the basic considerations for each type of audience, and how should it be adapted? Please choose all applicable options for the target audiences and provide additional details.
The marketing is targeted mainly for the schools in the area. There is a social media campaign in a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram organised by the women network and the organising university of applied sciences.
3.3 Dialogic Strategy
The content of the event is planned in an attractive way, it is like a game, and makes the girls want to participate. There is a shortage of the good workers in the IT companies and that’s why they want to organise an event like this. This is an excellent meeting point for those who are planning their future. There are no obligations, only prizes to win.
4.1 Project Timeline
The core organising team will start to organise the event in November, as well as make any necessary the venue reservation. The sponsorship, discussion panel and exhibitors negotiations need to happen between November to January. The summer job negotiations should be confirmed in November to February. The event happens in February.
Marketing starts in January.
4.2 Single Event Structure
10. 00 – 10.30 Registration
10. 30 – 10.45 Opening the event: the Speaker
10.45 – 11.45 Orienteering competition starts (control points open)
11.45 – 12.45 Lunch and coffee
12. 45 – 13. 45 The discussion panel (control points are closed)
13.45 – 14.00 Coffee break
14. 00 – 15. 00 Orienteering competition continues (control points open)
15.00 – 16.00 The results of the competition
Give here an example structure/programme of every single event that is part of the project.
4.3 Personnel roles
Core team: negotiating the sponsorship, companies and the summer jobs, marketing, the lunch and coffee: November to February
Women network: negotiating the participants of the panel discussion, marketing, finding the speaker of the day: November to February
Companies: marketing January- February, and the event day
Volunteers: organising the venue, tables, chairs and rostrum, in the morning of the event.
Speaker: taking care the everyone is having fun and feeling homely
Make sure to communicate early who needs to be where at what time on the day. A general outline of which personnel are required when and what tasks they should fulfil can be inserted here.
The materials are mainly information about the education possibilities and the work possibilities at the IT industry. The material is mostly in online-form but at the event, the schools, universities and companies can share their brochure. Resources for the puzzle needs to be arranged prior to the event.
4.5 Other Logistics
Refreshments: the lunch and coffee comes from the university restaurant.
At least two groups (4-5 people) of young women will get a summer job in the IT industry. At least 100 young women will get information about what it is like to work in the IT industry. The information is given encouragingly by organizing the orienteering competition, the panel discussion and the fair.
We will collect feedback from all participants: the girls, the companies, panel discussion participants and the women network. The popularity (how many girls and now many companies) of the event is one indicator of the success. The feedback helps us to organize the event better and better.