Almost three years ago, KKR announced its partnership with Code First Girls, pledging to support the organization’s 20:20 campaign, which aims to train 20,000 women to code for free by the end of 2020. As we begin to approach that date, I can’t help but look back at the incredible journey we’ve been on. Code First Girls has made significant progress against their goals by helping an increasing number of young women learn how to code and gain access to the tools and training they need to build their digital skills. This ultimately is enabling them to pursue successful careers in the technology sector in a way that was previously impossible. And despite the difficult situation we face at the moment through coronavirus, the organisation has pivoted, realizing that their efforts are more important than ever. Code First Girls’ pace hasn’t let up with the team launching new, online coding courses and a series of ‘Hack from Home’ virtual events.
Why Code First Girls?
Supporting Code First Girls was a logical move for us at KKR. We have been investing in the technology sector for 25 years, backing founders, entrepreneurs and innovative tech companies, and we are firm believers in the transformative power of technology to make society better.
Unfortunately, there’s still a big gender divide in tech and a lack of female founders, tech experts and investors; and for KKR specifically, we feel that diverse perspectives make us a better investor. Our partnership with Code First Girls is a critical part of our commitment to helping combat the under-representation of women in the sector, as we believe increasing gender diversity in technology will benefit both the sector and the wider UK economy.
The partnership is also about digital skills. More and more jobs now require digital literacy and specific tech expertise. Broadening access to this is a critical objective for the whole country and will mean that the benefits of the big investments being made in digital connectivity, by KKR and others, will be fully realised.