What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)
Access to technology, Access to education/training.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Girl Geek Coffees has assisted hundreds of females in ICT to feel less isolated, obtain support and mentoring through its coffee group meet ups around Australia. These events provide a safe and relaxing environment, networking, support, advice, the ability to share experiences, valuable friendships and partnerships.
For the frist time in Australian history, females in ICT at student and early career level have a group to support them, to feel part of, and journey with. They have a collective voice which is starting to be heard by the leaders in Industry, Academia and various ICT organisations. Previously the students and early career females in ICT were only supported by around two localised Universities, of whom had a few active senior Academics working in the area of gender and ICT. However the low numbers of females in ICT, demographic differences, and gender norms of interaction have prevented a cohesive community, and thus a voice.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Girl Geek Coffees aims to have a stable national presence within this year, with a view to establishing thriving GGC supergroups in all major states of Australia. Those in regional areas will be able to access support through online forums, social networking, and mentoring platforms. It currently has GGC start ups in various countries around the world, and would like to continue to develop that. With the development of a solid mentoring program, the GGC would enable more in depth support of its members, targeting their needs and niche areas to a better level of detail. This would increase the value of being part of the organisation, and ability to impact their lives in a meaningful and ongoing manner.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The current barriers to success are actually the females themselves, namely their ability to feel threatened by the leadership of other females and associated praise they get. To address this highly sensitive and compassionate leaders have been put in place to lead the supergroups. These iteratively bring together the various females interested in obtaining and providing support. The second factor is the relative youth of the leaders and duration in which they hold their leadership positions. Choosing student and early career females as leaders means that there is an ever changing target of volunteers, frequently with challenging personal circumstances. Again, the choice of principal leaders to bring the members together creates stability and focus.
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Complete the Pilot Program for Tri-Mentoring with Girl Geek Coffees (GGC)