Director and Co-founder, InnovateHer
Jo Morfee co-founded InnovateHer to help improve the gender balance in tech; only 17% of jobs nationally are held by women and only 20% of GCSE computing pupils are female. InnovateHer provides inspirational eight-week after-school programmes to equip girls with the skills and self-belief that they need to pursue a career in technology. Its aims are to help reverse gender inequality, improve digital skills, connect industry to schools, and invest in the future of young people.
After receiving 90 applications for 15 available places in the initial 2016 cohort, Jo and the team are now planning on establishing programmes in every school across the North West region, and beyond. “We’ve gathered so many stories of girls who have completely changed the course of their lives,” says Jo. “It’s so rewarding to watch them transform into confident individuals.”
Reflecting on a recent talk delivered by a young graduate who praised the InnovateHer programme, Jo says, “it was incredibly motivational hearing another young woman say that she now wants to work in technology as a result of our programme. It’s what drives us all forward.”
She says that when it comes to poor diversity and inclusion within organisations, the answer is to listen to the views and suggestions of everyone on an equal footing. “The views of everyone in the workplace must be respected if you want the business to grow and deliver great things. Make sure you value everyone’s views equally and take a long hard look at the diversity of your decision-making team.”