Girls in ICT 2024

On April 25th 2024, in celebration of the Girls in ICT Day, the WIDE ANDCO team organised a private event with the honouring presence of Yuriko Backes, Minister of Gender Equality and Diversity and students from 42 Luxembourg

Girls in ICT Day is an initiative that is taking place all over the world, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of April. The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness about the gender gap in the ICT field by encouraging more women and girls to choose that field by promoting digital opportunities just for girls and women. 

Marina Andrieu, Founder and Director of WIDE ANDCO has given us a deeper insight into this issue by evoking the current statistics. She mentioned that only 9% of developers in Europe are women, 19% of IT specialists in Europe are women and in Luxembourg, we can count around  20% of female ICT specialists (ranked 8th in the DESI  2022). When it comes to leading positions only 11% of startups in Europe have been led by women. There is still some work to do, that’s why Marina and the WIDE ANDCO team have decided to tackle this problem by offering activities that will help more women gain interest in the ICT field. The WIDE ANDCO therefore offers training and services around three main areas of intervention, Digital skills for everyone, Gender Equality and Inclusive Entrepreneurship. 

The  Minister of Gender Equality and Diversity, Yuriko Backes, took the opportunity to share some words of encouragement regarding that matter by reminding the students “You have the passion to do this, go for your passion, but also don’t be scared! Go the extra mile even if it may be a bit daunting and you will be role models for other women in this field as well”. 

During this amazing event, we also had testimonials from Ira Unikel, Elodie Hamm and Kayleigh van Dongen, three female students from 42 Luxembourg who have also benefited from WIDE ANDCO’s services were designated to share their inspiring stories and their unique paths towards Coding and IT. 

Ira Unikel has a rich background in Marketing and is also the Founder of Lyyra, a communication agency based in Luxembourg. She is a hard-working woman who has worked for several big companies over the past years and has always been able to climb the corporate ladder. Elodie Hamm is a passionate traveller with a Master degree in Finance. She has made headlines by winning first place at this year’s Hackathon H-W3B, together with her team. Kayleigh van Dongen obtained a Master’s degree in Science and has also an educational background as a Chemistry teacher. In addition to that Kayleigh is a freelancer for projects that revolve around game design and low code / no code website and application building. 

These women have all decided to change their professional trajectory by entering 42 Luxembourg in order to learn new skills that will allow them to either adapt to the rapid market changes, have the opportunity to access a more flexible job or simply challenge themselves.

During the discussion, the speakers gave us a short insight into what it is like to be a student at 42 Luxembourg. Elodie said that it is difficult because you have to work to succeed by mostly learning by yourself but what makes it easier is having the support of other students. Ira described this experience as challenging but also life-changing. She appreciated the educational system and described it as “smart” because it pushes the students to unite organically to learn together, despite their different age groups. For Kayleigh, being a student at 42 Luxembourg is a ”rollercoaster”, the coding part is easy for her but what makes it more challenging is the non-stop dedication. 

A big thank you to the speakers who inspired us, by showing that Coding is for everybody no matter your background and that it is never too late to change your path and start all over again in your professional life. 

The WIDE ANDCO team and the MEGA join forces in wishing all 42 Luxembourg students all the best on their journey!


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