National enterprise InnovateHer, which aims to improve the gender balance in the technology sector, has appointed Code Computerlove’s Tony Foggett as its non-executive director.
Fogget is currently the chief executive of Manchester-based digital agency, but has been involved with InnovateHer since last summer.
InnovateHer has been working to give girls between the ages of 12 and 16, the self belief and skills they need to pursue a career in technology. Now that Fogget is on the board, he will help to additionally support the organisation in realising its vision and get girls as ready for the tech industry as possible.
The organisation aspires to pave the way for greater equality and diversity in technical roles by enabling pupils to interact with leading employers and industry role models as well as learn new digital skills.
Acting as a mentor and member of its advisory board, Fogget will assist the Manchester and Liverpool-based teams to develop their educational and coaching programmes. One of these includes an eight-week after school programme that is being implemented in schools across every borough in the Greater Manchester combined-authority area.
Code Computerlove will also serve as a business partner within the InnovateHer network, which is made up of a mix of local businesses, global organisations, charities, universities and alternative education providers. All partners will share their best working practices and provide advice and support for students, such as recruitment and workplace culture.
Jo Morfee, InnovateHer co-founder, says: ““Tony is genuinely as passionate as we are about closing the gender gap within the technology sector and his own approach to business is inspirational to us all. I know the girls who recently went into Code Computerlove for training, talks and practical tasks with Tony and the Computerlover team came away full of excitement about career opportunities in the digital sector. By seeing first hand the inner workings of a digital agency students get an idea of the different roles within a digital product consultancy. They also had an introduction to coding and were shown how to run an ideation session.”
Foggett adds: “I was blown away by InnovateHer’s school programmes and their ability to connect the students to the opportunities within the industry at such a critical stage when technology is rarely a career path considered by girls deciding on their future. What’s clear to me now is the role companies need to play in adapting – creating cultures that nurture everyone’s development and work life. It’s not just a case of helping girls be digitally ready, but ensuring that businesses are ready for girls. We need have to have role models within our businesses and at every level be a place where they belong. I’m delighted to be a part of this journey with InnovateHer as I think they will make a lasting and sustainable impact with the model they’ve developed.”