Online event aims to dispel myths about careers in computing

Girls from across the region will take part in an online event which aims to inspire them to consider a career in computing.

Leading studios and companies are participating in Hello World, which will be held virtually by Teesside University with around 200 young girls from Year 8, 9 and 10 taking part from schools across the region.

The event on April 14 will involve women working in animation, games design and visual effects, along with contribution from range of leading companies, including Industrial Light and Magic, Arcus Animations, Vianet, Razorblue, Sumo Digital, Creative Assembly, Ubisoft and Accenture.

It will include a panel of inspirational women speaking about what and who inspired them to pursue a career in digital technology. A range of creative and technical workshops will also be held.

Lesley-anne Rose, lecturer in Stop Motion Animation in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies, said: “There is a huge under representation of women training in the digital tech sector, which makes Hello World such an important event.

“Although many teenage girls use computers in the same way as their male peers, they are still far less likely to consider a technology-related career.

“Hello World helps to dispel the myth that computing and digital technologies are for boys and to show girls the wide variety of exciting careers open to them in this rapidly evolving field.”

Lesley-anne added: “The event will also show there are brilliantly talented women out there who have amazing careers in digital technology.

“We also to show the variety of jobs which can be found in the digital technology sector and that there are plenty of opportunities for girls to expand their skills and try new things.”

Ami Backwell, from Industrial Light & Magic, said; “Events like Hello World are really important for the future of a healthy, diverse VFX industry.

“It’s amazing to see universities celebrating and supporting young girls in technology as we definitely need more girls to enter our world.

“At ILM, it’s important we engage in events like these in order to inform young girls about the many exciting careers in visual effects out there that spread across a broad spectrum of core subjects from computer science, maths to business admin and fine art.

“There is so much talent out there and so it’s important every talented young person knows they can have a successful VFX career.”

CJ Stockton at Ubisoft said: “By encouraging young girls from the North East to pursue STEAM subjects and consider video games as a viable career option when they grow up, we are safeguarding the future of our industry locally and empowering these young people to dream big.”

The Hello World event comes as Teesside University recently teamed up with Creative Assembly, the UK’s largest games developer, to offer a brand-new scholarship which will help support under-represented groups to make their mark in the games industry.

The scholarship is specifically open to underrepresented or disadvantaged individuals to address existing cultural and socio-economical barriers which may limit their chances of success.

The new Creative Assembly Legacy Scholarship provides financial support and expert mentorship throughout the successful students’ time at Teesside University.

Find out more about Hello World