Bank of America Merrill Lynch Joins Code First: Girls 20:20 Campaign in Ireland and the UK

Together, We Are Enabling 20,000 Young Women to Pursue a Career in Technology

DUBLIN – Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) and Code First: Girls (CF: G) have announced a partnership to help 20,000 women in Ireland and the UK to code by 2020, as part of the Code First: Girls 20:20 Campaign.

Over the past three years, CF: G has taught more than 5,000 women how to code for free, and their alumnae have been hired by a range of local and global firms, including NASA, ThoughtWorks and BlaBlaCar as software developers, information security experts, digital strategists and robotics engineers.

Through their involvement in the campaign, BofAML will provide financial support and their technologists will help train CF: G students in Ireland and the UK. Training will also be rolled out to the bank’s own female employees who are interested in learning to code. This will open up other career opportunities for these women, and will enhance their understanding of the ways in which technology applies to their existing roles.

BofAML’s commitment to CF: G’s 20:20 campaign builds on a strong partnership forged over four years that enables the company’s employees to leverage their skills to act as volunteer CF: G instructors and technology ambassadors. The two companies recently completed a joint FinTech mentoring programme, which saw 15 of BofAML’s senior female technologists mentor 12 young women and teach them about the broad range of careers that are available in technology in the financial services sector.

In Ireland, the expanded partnership builds on BofAML’s wide STEM engagement programme, which includes ‘Hack your Career’ panel debates with CF: G, and STEM workshops. In partnership with CF: G and the Dublin Institute of Technology, BofAML employees volunteer as instructors teaching coding to women in third level education who wish to learn about software development. The most recent course, which ran this past spring, included introductions to Front- and Back-End Web Development and Python.

The expanded partnership with CF: G comes at a time of stark underrepresentation for women in the Ireland and UK technology sectors. According to reports, just under 19 percent of technologists in Ireland are women versus 28 percent in Australia. Yet Ireland has Europe’s fastest growing technology worker population1. In this context, it is no surprise that technology is at the core of BofAML’s business: almost half the company’s EMEA workforce and 90 percent of its Dublin workforce are currently assigned Technology and Operations roles.  Through the CF: G 2020 campaign, BofAML is hoping to give even more young women the aspirations, skills and confidence to pursue a Technology career, and create a strong pipeline of female talent for business-critical positions.

Commenting on the expanded partnership, Allison Krill, head of EMEA Global Banking and Markets Technology at BofAML, said: “Technology innovation is key to driving transformation within business, but the need for diverse technical talent is not yet met by the number of qualified people entering the workforce.  We are therefore very proud to be supporting Code First: Girls 20:20 campaign. Our employees across Ireland and the UK look forward to working closely with the participants to share their knowledge, skills and advice to help bridge the gap for early career switchers into tech.”

Amali de Alwis, CEO of CF: G, said:

“We are excited to build on our existing partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The lack of tangible role models for women looking to build a career in tech creates a psychological barrier to entry, and through this partnership, we are working hard to put an end to that. We look forward to working with them to both build and tap into a talent pool of incredible women looking to develop their careers in tech, as well as to help women understand what tech-oriented careers are available to them. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is an innovative company committed to diversity, and shares many common goals with our organisation. We are delighted to have them on board.”

 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Environmental, Social and Governance

At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with not-for-profits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organisations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter @BofAML.

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