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SAP Vancouver Inspires Girls to Explore Technology with GIRLsmarts4tech

By Stephanie Redivo
In partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC), SAP is working to diversify the workplace and increase the number of women in
technology using the GIRLsmarts4tech program. In February of this year, SAP hosted 60 girls at the SAP Vancouver Executive Briefing Center for the
first-ever grade 7
GIRLsmarts4tech workshop. The event aimed to boost female participation in IT related fields by giving young girls the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities ranging from Programming UI/UX design and Gaming to Music and Technology.

Though UBC has run a GIRLsmarts4tech program for several years, this is the first time they have partnered with a
company to refresh their program. GIRLsmarts4tech grade 7 has been in the works for over a year and was developed using Design Thinking workshops during last year’s Month of Service and a partnership with students who helped to finalize the new and innovative activities for girls.

Co-sponsors Stephanie Redivo and Darriel Dawne found a natural synergy between SAP’s goal to increase women in
leadership roles and the mission of GIRLsmarts4tech.[1] “I started researching why there is an alarming lack of women entering tech
programs, and wanted to inspire young girls to explore technology since they will have a major role to play in shaping our future,” said Darriel, Senior
Director, Office of the CMO.

While this is a wonderful opportunity to increase diversity in the workplace, the growing challenge for businesses is to
find these brilliant minds early, in order to educate and empower them to do great things. “Over the past ten years, the number of IT professionals in
Canada grew from 650,000 to 800,000. During that same period, the number of women in IT has hovered at around 25% with little or no change,” said Kirsten Sutton, Managing Director of SAP Canada Labs. “This program is a fun and creative way for us to showcase SAP’s passion for education.”

So what did the students think of the event? On her feedback form, one girl wrote quite simply, “I hope you don’t mind, but I need to give you a six out of five!”
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#SAPCanada increasing #WomenInTech with GIRLsmarts4tech. Find out more: GIRLsmarts4tech – UBC Computer Science  @SCNblogposts


[1]
Stephanie Redivo, Senior Project Manager, Product Management and Customer Services

Darriel Dawne,Head of Transformation, SAP Marketing

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6 Comments

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    1. Stephanie Redivo Post author

      Hi Mark, thank you for asking.  We would love to be able to do something like this in Toronto.  I will reach out to my contacts and we can see what we can do.

      All the best

      Steph

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      1. Mark Richardson

        Stephanie :

        We just did an ASUG Ontario event with the CIO of the Toronto District School Board and have regular attendees from the Catholic Board too.

        Let us know if you need any help making contacts, etc – with regards to hosting a “Girls in Tech” event in Toronto in 2015.

        Thanks,
        Mark

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          1. Mark Richardson

            Stephanie :

            We have an @ASUG_Ontario event at Seneca College (Markham) Campus on Wed. March 4, 2015.

            [Call for Speakers & Sponsors] March 4th, 2015 – ASUG Ontario

            Wondering if you want to Partner with ASUG on some CSR initiative(s) at that meeting…?

            Maybe sharing a Networking Showcase Table with SAP CSR staff & GirlsInTech (Toronto) – or something similar…?

            Let me know what your SAP Canada “CSR targets” are in 2015 – and if there’s someone responsible for CSR in the Toronto SAP Offices who we can connect with in the next few days.

            Thanks,
            Mark

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