4 min. read
Building a Diverse Future: Paving the Way for Girls in Tech with VHTO
2022 in Review – Our Partnership with VHTO and donating €23.000 into STEM
What do we want?
Girls to Pursue Tech Careers
When do we want it?
At Xena, we believe in nurturing young girls’ interest in technology and creating a supportive environment that encourages them to thrive in the world of tech. That’s why our partnership with VHTO was as easy as pie.
We are excited to share a few highlights from last year but before we dive into it – a special shoutout to all our partners in crime that support our mission and close the gender gap in tech with us.
Only 16% of the STEM workforce in the Netherlands are women. VHTO’s objective is to increase the participation of girls and women in STEM in the Netherlands, both in education and in the workplace.
Fix the system, not the girls.
VHTO’s approach to creating impact is clear and simple:
1. Remove the obstacles for choosing STEM for individual girls
2. Make education inclusive and facilitate the route towards technical studies
3. Promote successful hiring and retention of women in STEM professions
4. Normalise the image of women in STEM in society
If we want a truly gender-diverse tech sector in the future, we must tackle the problem at the root now. At VHTO, one way we do this is through guest lessons at school for young children. So we are very pleased to partner with Xena. Xena takes its responsibility as a recruitment organization for the tech sector. Not only do they hire women for tech jobs, Xena also works towards normalizing the image of women in a tech job. I strongly believe that this is the way to a more diverse tech sector, which is needed both for women and for society.
Director at VHTO
So, what was achieved 2022 at VHTO?
Xena proudly donated 23.000 € to VHTO for them to work their magic. The impact that VHTO reached with all of their partner’s support was:
11.366 students reached
138 new role models
7 gender scans at educational institutions
37 workshops for girls primary and secondary education
+75 times featured in the media (Local, national and special media)
Additionally, we also supported organising guest lessons to remove obstacles for girls in choosing STEM and IT fields.
Research shows that girls have less exposure to STEM and IT, and therefore have fewer opportunities to develop their talents, interests, and skills in these areas.
We also know that at a young age, children already have gender stereotypes about professions. To break these stereotypes, VHTO has developed various interventions based on this scientific research. These interventions are effective ways to challenge stereotypes and, at the same time, introduce and inspire children to STEM and IT fields. We were able to fund:
– 9 “Beeldenbrekers” guest lessons for primary education
– 15 ”Dit doe ik” guest lessons for secondary education.
Our Partnership Experience
“Xena is an important partner in our mission at VHTO. This collaboration brings great value. Organising these activities together to create positive pivotal experiences for girls to showcase their potential in STEM is important but with the shared mission between VHTO and Xena it’s also a lot of fun.
Their financial support is valuable, we can achieve so much more. But our shared objectives and conversations on how we can best approach this is most beneficial. Xena’s partnership has propelled VHTO forward, and we’re excited for the ongoing journey ahead. Together, we’re shaping a brighter, more inclusive future.”
Thanks to our partnership with Xena, we have the opportunity to organize guest lessons for over 500 boys and girls in 2023. These sessions are designed to challenge stereotypes about women in STEM fields, providing the students with positive STEM experiences and creating avenues for them to nurture their talents, interests, and skills.
– VHTO Team
Plans For 2023
Last year we did our first programming workshop with VHTO hosted by FUGA. Check out last year’s highlights, where we connected young girls with industry professionals and sparked interest in pursuing a career in STEM. This year we will be hosting another edition in October. This coding workshop is for 20 to 50 girls aged 13 to 15. Stay tuned!