Girls in Tech - Encouraging the New Generation of Coders

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Girls in Tech - Encouraging the New Generation of Coders

Posted: 23/03/2017 5:00pm

woman hand smartphone desk

I chose a career in tech simply because I wanted the flexibility to work in any industry along with the ability to feed my never-ending curiosity. Wow, I’m sure glad I did. So far, technology has been a constant source for learning and growing. In the past, I have participated in young student tech mentorships in Ontario and really enjoyed it. Recently I’ve been searching for new opportunities to encourage young girls to love technology as much as I do and provide them the chance to flourish in an industry historically dominated by males.  When my newest opportunity arrived, I grabbed it without hesitation. So let me tell you a bit about Technovation and how I'm involved.

Every year Technovation, the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship program for girls 10-18, invites teams of girls from all over the world to learn and apply the skills needed to solve real-world problems through the use of technology. Each team learns the following skills: ideation (identifying a problem in the community), technology development (developing a mobile app solution), entrepreneurship (building a business plan and launching the app) and bringing a business to market.

Since 2010, more than 10,000 girls from 78 countries have participated in Technovation. With the help of volunteer mentors, they've produced mobile "startups" that have helped address problems in local and global communities.  After participating in Technovation:*

  • 78% of students were more interested in Computer Science
  • 70% of students were more interested in Entrepreneurship
  • 67% of students were more interested in Business Leadership
  • 58% of alumnae enroll in subsequent Computer Science courses
  • 26% of alumnae in college major in CS. This is 65x the national rate of 0.4% of female college students majoring in CS

The University of Calgary, Faculty of Science has partnered with Technovation to bring this event to our local students. The 12-week program matches each team with two mentors - one from industry who is in a professional role (providing business advice) and one from the Department of Computer Science (providing technical support). As a business mentor in this program, I have been working with groups of students from two local high schools in Calgary and Strathmore. Each group will compete by building an android application to help with one of the 2017 Global Goals of the United Nations: poverty, health, environment, peace and education. 

In April, each team will submit their mobile app, business plan, and video pitch for their app.  In May, all teams are invited to the Technovation Calgary Regional Pitch event, hosted by University of Calgary, where students will demo their apps and present their business plans to a panel of experts, competing for prizes.  In July, top teams selected by Technovation will be invited to the San Francisco Bay Area for the Technovation World Pitch event.

Looking for a way to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month? In partnership with Chic Geek and the US Consulate General Calgary, Technovation is also hosting a screening of CODEGIRL, a documentary about high school aged girls from around the world as they try to better their communities through technology and collaboration. On March 29th the event is free and a great look into the Technovation program.  Click here for tickets:



Stay tuned for updates on the teams and their cool apps!


(For more information on Technovation visit

(For more information on the University of Calgary and Technovation 2017 partnership visit

*Source: Technovation Challenge 2017 (