The tech industry is one of the most sought after and fastest-growing industries, but it’s a space that many girls around the world have difficulty finding access to. Despite the fact that women were some of the earliest computer programmers in the 1970s, the industry has been widely criticized for its lack of diversity and perpetuity of gender disparity. For tech non-profit organization Technovation, they aim to close this gap and provide girls with the opportunity to develop a curiosity and skills in tech, creating pathways for them to pursue and succeed in STEAM careers.

Since its launch in 2010, Technovation has helped provide over 23,000 young girls the chance to build practical experience in technology and leadership. Over the course of several weeks, students who enter the program work on app development projects and develop myriad skills seldom taught in traditional courses. Girls ages 10-18 from various countries are invited to collaborate and come up with an idea for an app that presents possible solutions to problems in their local community. In teams of 1 to 5, the girls design, develop, and market their app to a panel of judges.

The program provides the space for girls to explore tech careers through a hands-on, project-based environment. A recent study from the US Department of Labor revealed that women only make up 30% of the workforce at major tech companies. This further underlines the value of the kind of program model that Technovation offers.

Technovation Student Ambassador Natasha Arya says her experience helped her to learn critical skills that led her to consider technology careers. She describes how she never really thought of tech as an industry she was interested in, until joining the program.

The homepage of the Noori app, which connects women to local pediatric healthcare services.

Natasha shares how she wishes she had the courage to explore tech at a younger age, saying, “I wish I could advise myself that I shouldn’t wait for things to somehow automatically become less intimidating, and at least give them a try.”

As part of their success, Technovation is working to improve the visibility of girls in STEAM and dispel common misconceptions surrounding it. After completing their time in the program, 70% of girls expressed a greater interest in computer science, business leadership, and entrepreneurship.

Aside from technical skills, what draws students to Technovation is the chance to be part of a community of innovators working together to produce a strong social impact. “I enjoyed learning about technology, business & entrepreneurship, and design a lot. But in the end, it’s all about the community”, says Arla. The girls work together to propose real solutions that can be directly implemented, yielding measurable results. As agents of this process, they feel immediately empowered to become more active in their community and build their understanding of the unique social applications of tech.

Student Arla Hoxha-Tirana was part of a team that developed an app called Redbug, which helps people, particularly younger generations, learn about significant cultural heritage sites in Albania. In search of the “perfect app idea”, they found the inspiration for the solution was right in their community.

“It has made me more aware of what I’m capable of and has given me confidence to try more things that are new without fear of failure,” says Arla.

Technovation participants at bootcamp
Technovation participants at March bootcamp. Image credit: Technovation

Encouraging girls to take part in proactive roles is the kind of initiative the tech industry needs to go back to its inclusive roots. One of the obstacles that makes it difficult for girls to enter tech is the lack of visible role models. The success spurred by the “Technovation Challenge” offers girls a glimpse at their capabilities in commanding the next big leaps in tech and entrepreneurship.

Natasha explains how Technovation is accessible for different types of learners: “Something great about Technovation is that it’s an excellent program for beginners and experienced people alike; it provides a low-barrier entry to those who want to start learning, and once you know the basics and start developing your app, the sky’s the limit!”

Arla and her team developed the Redbug app as a way to help people learn about Albanian cultural sites.

From food insecurity to street safety, apps created through the Technovation program have produced creative solutions for everyday life. Working on app development projects to solve community issues on a local scale help the girls understand the complexities of a problem.

Student Leanne Bui says her team worked with the Leftovers Foundation to create an app that sources leftover food from businesses to those in need. Leanne talked about how her mentors introduced her to other female-led organizations that were making large-scale impacts. “Whether it was for app development or software, it was very inspirational seeing these women take center stage to create tech that helps our generation move forward,” said Leanne.

To alleviate the issue of food waste, Leanne and her team created the Leftovers app, which redirects excess food from businesses to people in need.

Through projects that tackle real-world issues, Technovation allows opportunities for girls to become active makers instead of consumers of products. They foster skills and an attitude that goes beyond participation, prompting girls to view themselves in positions of leadership within the tech world. Girls not only bear witness to the creative possibilities of tech, they also get a glimpse of the burgeoning potential within themselves.

We’re excited to partner with Technovation and support their alumni’s goals to transform communities through the implementation of life-changing apps.

We believe that women everywhere should have the opportunity to pursue their interests or careers in the arts and technology fields. Our Women in STEAM initiative was established to encourage women to explore STEAM creative technology subjects, promote access to these courses, and showcase the success of female artists. Learn more about the initiative here.

Below are some of the creative technology courses we have in our catalog:

Introduction to Programming for the Visual Arts Using p5.js

Machine Learning for Musicians and Artists

Goldsmiths University of London


The Nature of Code

Processing Foundation



Generative Art and Computational Creativity

Simon Fraser University