In Brazil, women account for only 22% of total students on university computer science courses, and 30% of engineering students, so it seems clear that the technology industry needs to encourage more women to participate in it. Not only because it would bring new points of view when developing new technological solutions, but also because excluding girls and women from this sector places them at margins of the labour market. Many different areas of work increasingly require expertise in software, applications and programming, so young women could be a vital resource.
Access to opportunities
Plan International Brazil and Accenture, one of the world’s largest companies in information technology solutions, are working together to increase girls’ involvement. Through the project Youth Building the Future, developed in Recife, in the northeast of the country, young women like Thamires, 21, and Helida, 26, are ambitious and hopeful for the future.
Now I am qualified and see new possibilities for my future.
Thamires never had the opportunity to get a job until she found Youth Building the Future through the internet. “It was hard to me to get into the labour market because companies only want trained and experienced people, and I didn’t have that,” she says.
“I thought it would just be a qualification course, but I was surprised because there is also a follow-up after the course ends, through mentoring," says Thamires.
Now she works as SAP Jr Assistant at Accenture Recife, where she has learned bigger lessons too:
"Before I came to work here, I thought that technology was a very masculine area, but here you see a lot of women who have the opportunity to work as equals in relation to men.”
Thamires wants to go to college to study business and management.
Helida, who had never had any previous training, joined the project to gain knowledge to one day start her own business. She also wanted to help her mother to pay the bills at home. After the training, she also found work as SAP Jr Assistant at Accenture.
“Before, I knew nothing,” says Helida, “and I felt very lost. I had no opportunities, but now I am qualified in this area and I see new possibilities for my future."
Helida has many plans: "Now I have new professional skills and, consequently, new values, new ideas. I want to learn administration, management and business, to be able to enjoy my knowledge of software and create my own business."
Learn more about the transformative power of digital skills and training for girls