Since launching in early 2022, our Now+Next initiative has reached over 4,000 young women across London, encouraging them to consider careers in digital and technology.
Research shows that students who experience four or more proactive employer encounters are three times more likely to consider a career in a STEM subject. Now+Next allows girls from secondary schools across London to have access to industry experts from an early age, helping to inspire the next generation of technology leaders.
Following a successful first year, the Now+Next initiative has continued to provide opportunities for school aged girls through work experience programmes, mentorships and events.
Our achievements so far
- Through our partnership with Founders4Schools, Candyspace and Now+Next have been able to connect with over 4,000 secondary school girls from 17 schools across inner London.
- In both 2022 and 2023, Candyspace hosted International Women’s Day events to allow students the opportunity to hear insights from female leaders working within the digital and technology sectors.
- Candyspace have held a series of work experience programmes which allow students to get hands-on experience designing and building their own mobile app.
- In 2023 we launched the inaugural Now+Next mentorship programme, connecting students with mentors over an initial three month period.
Redressing the Gender Imbalance in Technology
According to the STEM Women association, women make only 24% of the workforce in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). In the UK only 19% of graduates in Computer Science are women. The root of the problem goes further back: when girls select the subjects they are going to pursue as early as 12 years old they are slowly narrowing the scope of careers open to them.
Candyspace are committed to trying to address this imbalance and in 2022 established the Now+Next initiative in partnership with the charity Founders4Schools. Now+Next aims to inspire young women through understanding possibilities, providing connections and gaining experience in data, design and technology.
Internally, our commitment to providing opportunities for women in technology has resulted in 43% of Candyspace’s current staff being women (up 14% since 2021) compared to the national average of 26% women in technology businesses.