By 2050, 75% of jobs worldwide will be related to science and technology. However, women currently occupy only 27.9% of positions in digital, 22% in artificial intelligence and 16% in technical professions (according to a United Nations study). A gap that widens from high school, especially since since 2019, in France, the number of scientific baccalaureates has decreased by 60%.
Many initiatives are developed every year to try to guide women towards scientific courses in order to reverse trends. The association law 1901 "Technovation Girls France" aims to question the strong inequalities of access to the professions of the future by significantly increasing the share of girls in scientific specialties in high school and in digital and technical sectors post baccalaureate. Thus it offers training to learn the basics of programming and artificial intelligence... as well as notions of entrepreneurship with the realization of a business plan.
Science subjects as a social elevator
It relies on the methodology and global success of the program developed by the international organization "Technovation", created in Silicon Valley in 2006. Over the past 17 years, 140,000 girls in more than one hundred countries have completed the program and 76% of alumni go on to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The extracurricular program offered by the association is based on the desire to show middle and high school girls that technology can have a positive impact on society and that they can be agents of change.
Read alsoParcoursup: why girls enroll in educational sciences and boys in engineering school?
"Our goal is to inspire young girls from an early age to consider careers in technology and innovation, fields that have traditionally been underrepresented by women... learning science subjects can be a real social lift," says Isabelle Bénard, President of the association "Technovation Girls France", and Chief Product Officer for "Mirakl", a successful company in the field of e-commerce.
A 2-hour distance training on Saturday
The training is remote and free to facilitate access for all girls regardless of their social and geographical origins. The Technovation Girls France program takes the form of two-hour distance learning and workshops per week, every Saturday, during which young girls will develop an idea, create a prototype mobile application while learning the basics of programming and artificial intelligence.
They develop, as a team, a project that contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reflect on the associated development plan. At the end of the program, they submit this project to the annual international challenge Technovation. The finalists will be invited to present their project in California to an international jury in October 2024.
The training will take place from 11 November 2023 to 6 April 2024 (16 weeks) - registration before 15 October 2023 on the technovationfrance.fr website. The association is also looking for mentors who will accompany the 300 young girls expected as students for this 2023-2024 promotion.