LIFT - Ladies Code Their Future

There is an increasing need for workforce in the ICT sector in Europe: there may be a lack of 900 000 skilled ICT workers in 2020 in the EU. This high demand of IT jobs seems to be in contradiction with the soaring unemployment, especially that unemployment is high among the generation called “digital natives”. While this generation uses digital tools on daily basis, most of them have not had neither the confidence nor the initiative to upgrade their passive user skills into "active" IT skills that could have a value on the labour market. Regarding "digital confidence" women are is a worse situation than men. This is due on the one hand to the lack of ICT role models (girls being more influenced by role models than men, psychologists say) and and on the other hand to the general and hard-to-specify stereotype that "programming in not for a girls' brain. However, if women held digital jobs as frequently as men, the European GDP could be boosted annually by around € 9 billion.
Therefore the private and NGO sector, as well as adult education bodies should unite their forces to change some of the barriers that stand between women and the "ivory-towered" culture of ICT experts. 
This learning partnership intends to find the best ways of how to "break the glass ceiling" of access to quality IT learning and self-learning and to help women to get out of the education-poverty trap where they are kept due to prejudices and low quality technology education by opening up the world of coding for disadvantaged women, thus offering them better chances for employment and access to lifelong learning.

The project has been co-funded by the European Commission's Erasmus+ programme.

Objectives: Introduce disadvantaged women to basic ICT and coding; improve confidence of young women in their capabilities through a training and coaching program; raise awareness by collecting and promoting digital role models for women and girls that would inspire more girls and young women to consider careers in the digital technology market; showcase inventions, developments, innovations, success tangible products coming from women; join EU Code Week in 2017; publish a guide for adult education training providers on empowering disadvantaged women through ICT competence and confidence building.
Intellectual outputs: 
1. "What is behind the gender gap?" - a transnational needs analysis report on women's participation in coding/programming;

2. "From ICT confidence to ICT competence" - a Curriculum for basic ICT competence development, including basic coding/programming competence;

3. "LIFT Platform" - An online learning platform / competence and confidence building open education resource for introducing women to the world of coding from the very first steps;

4. "Shrinking the gender gap in ICT" - a Roadmap paper presenting ICT competence and confidence development as an empowerment tool for women;

5. "A world for women too" - Virtual video-tour in the world of role models, female It specialists.

The project is run by a consortium of 6 partners coming from 5 countries: Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Romania. All the partners, except for the promoter, have relevant experience in innovative adult education, community development through education and promoting international cooperation. The promoter, an innovative IT solutions company, will be the technical leader of the project and will be strongly supported in the management process by the Spektrum Education Center Foundation that has vast experience in transnational project management.
Financial support: European Commission, Erasmus+ Programme
Duration: November 1, 2017 - November 30, 2019

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website and all its contents reflect the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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