Jam Coding: breaking down barriers and changing the narrative around computer science

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Gender balance has always been a significant diversity issue in computer science. As recent as 2022, women made up just 28 per cent of the UK tech workforce and held a trifling 2 per cent of leadership roles...

But this disconcerting disparity is not new. National computing provider Jam Coding has spent the last decade working with young female learners to spark an interest in digital subjects.

They hope to be a key player in addressing the digital divide and closing the gender gap for good.

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Learning and Development Manager Jen Talbot explained, “As it stands, there are disproportionately fewer girls in computer science, but to address this stark imbalance we must first understand why it exists.

Jam Coding pupils during a computing lessonJam Coding pupils during a computing lesson
Jam Coding pupils during a computing lesson

Working in primary schools, we have found that young girls don’t really understand what a career in tech looks like, or the jobs they can do with the right digital skills. What’s more is that no one is putting it forward to them as an option.”

In 2023, Jam Coding launched an award-winning computing curriculum that teaches pupils digital concepts and how they can apply the skills they learn to real life situations and jobs.

It is a fun and modern adaption of the national curriculum, and a much-needed training tool for teachers who often lack the time, prior training and resources to deliver such a fast-paced subject to Ofsted’s expected standards.

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“Representation is also a key factor,” Jen continued. “Young girls can’t see themselves in a digital role because there are so few female role models in the industry.”

The Jam Coding leadership team take home coveted award for innovation in learningThe Jam Coding leadership team take home coveted award for innovation in learning
The Jam Coding leadership team take home coveted award for innovation in learning

Adding to the conversation, Katie-jo Gracie, Area Director for Jam Coding Milton Keynes said, “When I speak at colleges or universities about closing the digital divide, one of the things we discuss is why diversity in industries like ours is so important.

Kids need to see people who look like them in roles that have traditionally been reserved for other demographics.”

Jam Coding works with primary school children to break down barriers and change the narrative around computer science from a young age. They believe it is at this age that young girls are more likely to develop an interest for life.

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With a predominantly female leadership team, and a workforce of 300+ ‘Code Coaches’ across the UK, Jam Coding find themselves in a position to stem real change from the classroom.

“Jam Coding has been proudly closing the gender gap in computing and tech for years,” continued Gracie, “and I LOVE that about our company!”

For more information or to work with Jam Coding, please visit www.jamcoding.co.uk or get in touch by e-mailing [email protected]

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