At Glance: The Change Makers for Kids Foundation has worked since 2017 to carry out programs and initiatives in favor of reducing the gender gap in technology and for the empowerment of women and girls by facilitating the acquisition of skills for critical, creative, and safe use of technology. Technological skills are in high demand everywhere. This situation is perfectly logical because technology training is extremely deficient. And this started at school: in Colombia, 67% of schools have neither computers nor the Internet (in rural areas, only 9% are connected). Girls are often the most affected and are, therefore, the first to be excluded: 50% of Colombian women of working age are outside the labor market. After 2021, CMFK set up the Innova-duras program, a training program for underprivileged young people aged 15 to 18 enrolled in the second year of secondary school. The young women benefit from an immersion in the digital environment and developing technical and soft skills essential to working in the digital world.
Goals: Innova-duras is a strategy to support professional insertion that focuses on exploring a vocation, learning agile methodologies – a working method widely used in Tech companies -the meeting and inspiration talks with Tech professionals and entrepreneurs, and mentoring. Innova-duras also offers training to the teachers of the high schools associated with the program, the opportunity to explore agile methodologies, and access to open source resources.
This program is carried out in different municipalities of the departments of Atlántico and Magdalena. The Colombian Caribbean is one of the most populated regions in Colombia, presenting demographic and socioeconomic characteristics that make the paradigm shift particularly difficult for young women. In the Caribbean, 84.5% of jobs are unskilled; for young women in this region, the possibility of accessing higher education is hard! Added to this is the high rate of teenage pregnancy, which leads to a high dropout rate.
Results: To this date, Innovaduras has been implemented in 10 schools, with over 350 beneficiaries, including teenagers and teachers. The rate of girls wishing to work in technology has increased (82% vs. 37% at the program’s start). Regarding digital skills, at the beginning of the training, 69% of the girls reported having the skills to create, manage or retrieve information in the cloud or online, while at the end of the program, they were 100%.