New mentoring scheme for women in tech in Greater Manchester

By Lydia Clayton, Manchester Digital, October 2022

A new mentoring scheme has been launched in Greater Manchester to help women grow their career in tech and help them stay within the industry. MentorHER is the programme, which has been launched by industry body Manchester Digital as part of their wider Digital Her scheme and is sponsored by Auto Trader.

Image of an event taking place

McKinsey research found that only 86 women are promoted for every 100 men, which demonstrates how important it is to support women throughout their whole career. In technical roles this stat is even worse, with only 52% of women being promoted for every 100 men.

At a time when tech companies are struggling to recruit people with the right tech skills, it’s so important to convince young women that there is a place for them in the tech and digital industry.

One of our key aims here at Manchester Digital (external website) is to increase diversity in the tech and digital sector across the North West. As well as Digital Her, we also currently run an industry-led apprenticeship programme, as well as events, training and networking opportunities.

Part of Digital Her is to educate young women, as well as educational advisors, that there is a huge breadth of roles with tech and digital, and people can bring skills and strengths from all different types of backgrounds. You do not have to do a degree in computer science to work in the tech industry and grow a career.

Our Digital Her programme was launched in 2018 and has run roadshows, networking events and taster events at schools and colleges right across Greater Manchester. During this time, they have reached almost 4000 women and girls, supported 200 schools and colleges and created a community of more than 230 Digital Her ‘real role models’. The programme has now expanded to support women right through their tech careers to ensure that they don’t leave the tech industry.

Mentoring is a very personal journey so we will match people according to skills, industry and what they’re looking for in terms of advice and mentorship. In order to create a sustainable programme, we’re asking women to commit to return as a mentor themselves as they progress through their careers.

"We’re really proud to launch our new MentorHER programme. Our industry members have been telling us that one of their ongoing challenges with increasing diversity is to retain women, not just recruiting them. So at a time when we’re trying to encourage women into the tech industry, we also need to ensure women have the support they need to stay within the industry."

Katie Gallagher, Managing Director, Manchester Digital

So what are we asking for? If there’s any senior women in tech who wish to share their advice and experiences to support and mentor young women, please do get in touch. We’re also looking for companies that want to help sponsor events to reach more young women through schools and colleges.

Contact for more information on getting involved in this really worthwhile scheme.

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