Dentsu partners with Girls Who Code

Jennifer Weeks

Cluster Business Platforms Director

I have been working in dentsu Technology for six years and have had the opportunity to progress from Business Analyst to Project Manager and now to Business Platforms Director for France.  I feel very grateful for the opportunities that I have had here and want to pay it forward by supporting other women to develop their careers in technology.  Working with colleagues, Harriet Sharma and Kasia Tomczyk, we have started a Women in Tech programme across dentsu international with chapters operating here in EMEA, in APAC and across the Amercias. This has included taking action such as unconscious bias training across our teams to ensure that the recruitment process is fair; having female team members on every interview panel; a representative gender split of candidates and running training sessions to support our existing female talent. But one fundamental thing which we want to support is working at grassroots level to show young women the opportunities which are available and to light the spark of interest at a young age. 

This belief led us to partnering with Girls Who Code (GWC), an international non-profit organization with a mission to close the gender gap in tech. The partnership comprises a sponsorship agreement and involvement in the organisation’s acclaimed Summer Immersion Program in 2022. For the third year in a row, the Summer Immersion Programme, typically an in-person experience, was adapted by GWC to be entirely virtual in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was particularly keen to get involved in the GWC programme as this offers a unique opportunity to encourage and inspire girls from around the globe to follow careers in technology, not to mention an amazing opportunity to collaborate with enthusiastic colleagues from around the dentsu network to come up with exciting content for the sessions. 

Around 50 girls from countries around the globe enrolled onto the GWC/dentsu programme.  As well as the GWC-led coding sessions, the girls are benefiting from the real-world experience of dentsu’s teams, learning from colleagues like Harriet Sharma and Katarzyna Tomczyk.  Collaborating across borders and specialisms, the dentsu team have prepared sessions to give the girls a taster of the skills needed to work in technology, including how to present yourself in CVs and at interview; preparing for your first career steps; problem solving through design thinking; understanding social media and how it works, and the importance of cyber security.   

We had great feedback from the students involved and I want to say a huge thank you to those from dentsu who contributed to making this an engaging and inspiring programme. I’m certain that it will inspire the next generation of female technologists around the world! 

-- Jennifer  

If you want to find out more about how you could get involved in this programme, please reach out to Jennifer Weeks. If you would like to learn about dentsu’s other initiatives to equip the next generation with the skills they need to thrive in our digital world, like The Code or Code Like a Girl, please get in touch with Anna Newsum.