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Beginnings of Women Academies

or how we started to educate adult women.

When Aj Ty v IT was founded in 2012, its primary objective and target group were high school girls. At that time, I worked at the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, and I noticed that there was only a small percentage of girls among students. I felt sorry that girls are missing amazing opportunities the IT sector can offer them. And so, after founding the civic association, we focused our first activities on high-school girls with the aim of motivating them to study IT and improving their digital skills. We started to be active in educating adult women a few years later after repeated questions and requests from specific women about whether we can help them too. Although their learning years were long gone and they graduated from a high school or a university in a field other than technology, they too had a desire to enter the world of IT.

 

Pilot Women Tester Academy

Women Tester Academy was the very first in the series of the now established women academies. I have to admit that it took us a long time to create it, even too long, looking at it from today’s perspective. For a year, we struggled with creating content, individual topics, syllabi, etc. When we finally launched it, we were surprised. My heart still starts pounding when I think about it!

We launched the pilot course with the capacity of twelve participants anxiously and with advertising to ensure enough participants would register – in the end, forty of them did. And the result after it ended surprised us even more. Out of the twelve women, only one said that testing was not for her, two started maternity leave, and the remaining nine women immediately found a job with our partner Accenture.

 

Avalanche of courses and academies

The success of WTA inspired the creation of another similar academy, this time focused on data – Women Data Academy. And then an avalanche started.

Currently, our offer for adult women includes eight long-term Women Academies (Tester, Data, Python, HTML, CSS and JavaScript, Security, UX, SQL and Data Science/Machine Learning), while some of them were held twelve times already and a total of 1061 women completed them. And besides, we also have several short-term re-skilling courses, as well as many one-off, so-called taster courses.

Of course, Covid did mix things up for us too – from one day to the next, we had to move all our education activities into the online space. However, besides moments of stress, we also got a wonderful opportunity to approach women from the whole of Slovakia without the need of travelling to lessons.

 

We change lives, we change Slovakia

And although the total number of lessons taught and women who completed the courses sound incredible, the most important thing for us is that we help women improve their lives and gradually change Slovakia itself. Because when you open your inbox, and you see an e-mail from one of the former participants thanking you, this is exactly the feeling of warmth in your heart and confirmation that our work has a purpose.

If you want to get information about the ongoing or planned activities, contact our project manager Veronika at: [email protected]. Currently, registration is open for Women Tester Academy 13, HTML, CSS a JavaScript as well as several short-term courses and one-off workshops..

 

Partners of Women Academies: