2 min. read

Here’s How Xena Are Inspiring More Girls In The Netherlands To Pursue A Career In Technology

Meet VHTO, our partner in closing the gender gap in tech 

The Dutch IT sector consists of 82% men and 18% women.

Encouraging more girls to pursue a career in coding and software development is about more than creating a “level playing field”, or promoting equality in tech. It’s about solving future problems and solutions of the world. Women, and women of all different backgrounds will bring different perspectives to solving these problems. That’s why Xena has set out on a mission to close the gender gap in tech. So we can find new and unpredictable ways of solving problems through a combination of diversity and inclusivity. 

We believe that by donating your time or money towards some worthy causes in technology, you can bring transformational change to the industry. Xena’s new partnership with VHTO sets out to do just that, to increase the participation of girls and women in science, technology, and IT.

So who is VHTO?

VHTO is an NGO based in Amsterdam that’s focused on promoting more gender diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. They design evidence-based interventions to tackle gender stereotyping in the education system and provide girls with a concrete and more up-to-date idea of professions in STEM fields. 

What’s VHTO’s approach? 

“Programming education has not yet been implemented in the Dutch education system, which means that children have to rely on informal programming workshops and events to develop programming skills and explore their interests in the field of IT. Unfortunately, girls are less likely to participate in these workshops and thereby have fewer opportunities to develop programming skills and explore their interests in IT.”


VHTO’s preferred long-term solution is to ensure that high-quality IT education is embedded in the school system. Their short-term solution is to work with schools and enable them to implement proper IT education, even though it is not a formal requirement (yet). Working with schools also enables them to make sure that the coding education that is being implemented, is also gender-inclusive in terms of pedagogical methods, language use, design and case studies.”

How will Xena partner with VHTO? 

Xena has pledged to donate €150k by December 2022 to initiatives that support our mission in closing the gender gap in tech. Our partnership with VHTO will give girls an opportunity to explore their tech talents with leaders and innovators in the industry. We have a line of up of activities including a combination of live coding workshops and mentorship programs to inspire more girls to pursue a career in technology – stay tuned for more details coming soon.

Keep an eye on our social platforms for more information about how you can join Xena and VHTO’s mission.

Learn more about VHTO’s mission here.