PreparationTech Launches Diversity

PreparationTech Launches Diversity And Inclusion For High School

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In an era where diversity and inclusion are becoming increasingly critical, PreparationTech, a pioneering foundation, has embarked on a groundbreaking journey to foster diversity and inclusion within the tech industry, starting from high school level.

In an exciting initiative, the PreparationTech Foundation launches a pioneering pilot program, targeting mentorship for Dutch high school students who are often underrepresented in the tech sector. These include girls, non-white students, and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Scheduled to operate until July 2024, the program aims to enlighten students from five selected high schools in Amsterdam and Almere on the intricacies of tech careers and the diverse range of opportunities within the industry.

PreparationTech stands as a non-profit organization dedicated to revolutionizing the landscape of technology education for students across primary, middle, and high school levels. With a keen focus on inclusivity, PreparationTech targets demographics traditionally underrepresented in the tech sector, including girls, students from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, and those hailing from low-income households.

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Tech Industry

Diversity and inclusion are not merely buzzwords; they are the cornerstones of innovation and progress in the tech sector. Companies with diverse teams are more innovative, adaptable, and ultimately more successful. However, despite growing awareness, the tech industry continues to struggle with diversity issues, particularly in terms of gender, race, and socioeconomic background.

Understanding the Challenges Faced by High School Students

High school students, especially those from underrepresented groups, often face numerous barriers when considering careers in technology. Lack of exposure, limited access to resources, and a lack of role models are just a few of the challenges that hinder their entry into the tech world.

Empowering Tech Education Across K-12: Nurturing Future Innovators

Tech education holds immense potential in sparking the curiosity and fostering the creativity of children and adolescents. Through consistent exposure from an early age, we can pave the way for the emergence of the next generation of tech visionaries and creators.

At our core, we are committed to developing innovative pedagogy, dynamic curriculum, and effective teaching resources. Our efforts extend to conducting research aimed at identifying and implementing best practices in tech education delivery.

Primary and Middle School Initiatives

In collaboration with NewTechKids, a leading tech education academy in Amsterdam, we strive to refine and enhance computer science and digital literacy curriculum and teaching methodologies. Through rigorous testing and continuous improvement, we ensure that students receive the most effective and engaging tech education experiences.

High School Engagements

In the realm of high school education, we forge partnerships with schools and corporations to offer students unique and immersive learning opportunities in the field of technology. These initiatives encompass company visits, internships, and dynamic challenges such as hackathons and ideathons. By providing diverse and inclusive role models from the tech industry, we aim to inspire and empower the next generation of innovators.

Dedication to Engagement

Our dedication lies in fostering a continuous cycle of engagement and re-engagement among children and teens through dynamic tech learning experiences. We underscore the relevance of tech knowledge and skills as students progress through the educational system, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Speaking on the initiative, Deborah Carter, PreparationTech’s Managing Director, emphasizes the persistent diversity issues within the tech realm. Through this program, the organization is strategically addressing this challenge early in the talent acquisition process. The objective is to inspire these high schoolers to consider technology as their field of specialization, establishing a supportive network of mentors from the tech sphere. This proactive approach aims to integrate technology into their future educational and career pathways. Preparation, after all, is key – and the sooner, the better.

The pilot initiative will incorporate a blend of activities including company visits, hands-on work experiences, and ideathons, generously supported by participating firms such as Adyen, a prominent global financial technology platform, Rabobank, one of the Netherlands’ leading banks, and Schuberg Philis, a Dutch IT firm catering to essential industries in their critical business operations. The selection of participating schools was meticulously done, considering demographic factors and securing commitment from the school administrations.

Noteworthy statistics from the program’s inception include:

  • 47% representation of girls
  • 70% comprising non-native Dutch students (both parents born outside the Netherlands)
  • Approximately 63% from low-income backgrounds
  • Distribution across different academic years: 60% 3rd year, 20% 4th year, and 20% other years
  • Academic levels vary with 60% enrolled in HAVO, 20% in HAVO/VWO, and the remaining 20% in other levels (pertaining to the Dutch high school system)
  • Currently, 60% are enrolled in tech-related classes (informatics, computer science, coding, AI, maker education, digital literacy, etc.)

The kick-off event, hosted at Adyen on December 6th, witnessed the participation of approximately 100 students. They engaged with Alex Matthey, the company’s CTO, and various tech and business unit personnel, gaining insights into their roles. Additionally, they interacted with campus recruiters and received valuable guidance on crafting effective LinkedIn profiles.

FAQs

  1. How can high school students participate in the program?
    High school students can participate in the program through their respective schools, which have been selected based on specific criteria set by PreparationTech.
  2. What are the eligibility criteria for participating schools?
    Participating schools are selected based on demographics, commitment from school leadership, and the potential impact on students’ educational and career pathways.
  3. What kind of activities are included in the program?
  4. The program includes a range of activities, such as company visits, hands-on workshops, networking events, and ideathons, designed to provide participants with exposure to the tech industry.
  5. How long does the program run?
    The program is scheduled to run until July 2024, providing participants with ample time to engage in various activities and initiatives.
  6. How can companies get involved in the program?
    Companies interested in supporting the program can reach out to PreparationTech directly to explore partnership opportunities and learn more about how they can contribute to the initiative.

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