1st November turned out to be a very interesting day for Mandy, Kristina, Claire, and Monique, four Maltese young girls, aged between 12 and 15. On that day, they were invited to KPMG Crimsonwing’s offices for a half day immersion and training, as part of the Bring Kids to Work initiative proposed by MITA, the Malta Information Technology Agency. 1st November was chosen as a date, since it’s a mid-term holiday for school children, whilst offices are still working.
It’s been noticed in the IT industry that fewer girls are taking up computing subjects when they proceed to their post-secondary education. MITA therefore launched this initiative to be able to give girls aged 12-15 a sense of understanding into what being an ICT professional entails whilst encouraging them to take up a career in computing and other IT related subjects. The immediate success of this initiative rapidly encouraged the agency to extend it to all children, boys and girls.
Various initiatives are being organised by MITA to address the current perceptions that female students have towards the ICT professions, and in so doing seeks to improve the attractiveness of these professions as a career opportunity and generate more interest for female students.
KPMG Crimsonwing Malta immediately confirmed to MITA its interest in supporting this initiative, and suggested staff members to invite any female relatives interested in taking up a career in ICT accordingly. Theresia Azzopardi, Senior Business Analyst at KPMG Crimsonwing, William Hanna, Senior Java/SQL Programmer, and Amanda Fenech, Programmer, all showed their interest in participating as mentors and bringing their relatives to our offices. The girls were provided with an interesting customised programme for the morning, where they had to learn how to do certain tasks adapted to their knowledge level, such as:
- Learn how to make cool looking buttons using CSS
- How to create web forms.
- How to use JQuery to create a datepicker.
Both the girls and their mentors found this initiative appealing and satisfying. The video in the below link shows interviews with William Hanna, and Theresia from the KPMG Crimsonwing Malta office, on the day of the initiative.
William Hanna, who brought his daughter Hanna to KPMG Crimsonwing this November morning said, “This initiative gives the kids the opportunity to see what working in IT is like”.
Theresia Azzopardi, of the mentors for the day interviewed by MITA in the youtube video, commented: “As a company we frequently host student visits to KPMG Crimsonwing, as we believe it’s important for them to see our staff working in this industry, whilst they might also be attracted to taking up a career in IT.”
Amanda Fenech, another mentor for the day, said: “The girls have learnt that IT is not as restricted an environment as they thought it would be before this experience. The students were also very interested to realize that code is evolved in the GUI (Graphic User Interface) that they wanted.”
Overall, the girls thought the whole experience was “interesting, as we were exposed to different career possibilities in the IT world, learnt new things, whilst we also had an opportunity to see the environment where our parents work.”
Karen Hautala Hili, Course coordinator EU Funded Programmes and Digital Outreach, was very impressed with the cooperation and support provided by KPMG Crimsonwing Malta, and she visited our offices on the 12th November, to present a commemorative trophy to James Bonello, and the participating mentors.
When the mentors were asked what they believed needed changing to improve this experience, the only thing they could suggest was that such an initiative should have made more time available to the kids, since it was a truly interesting experience and the girls would have been able to learn so much more!
It looks like we’ll be keeping November 1st, 2014 free for the second edition of this very appealing initiative!
From left to right: KPMG Crimsonwing’s Marketing Executive Nadya Borg-Busuttil, James Bonello, Managing Director, Karen Hautala Hili from MITA (managing the initiative and presenting the trophy), together with Amanda Fenech and Wiliam Hanna who participated as Mentors in the programme.
Theresia Azzopardi who was also a mentor in this initiative – was unfortunately abroad on business on the day when the trophy was presented.