Press Release 20 September 2017
A social enterprise called TechPixies has launched in London to help mums and other women return to work by teaching them top-notch tech skills.
TechPixies has formed a partnership with Azoomee, an award winning Shoreditch based tech business, where a free event took place today for women with a shared interest in tech and learning new skills.
According to research from PwC, professional women returning to work could deliver gains of ￡1.7 billion to the UK economy with around 420,000 female professionals currently on a career break Yet three in five professional women that return to the workforce are likely to move into lower-skilled or lower-paid roles.
Founder of TechPixies, Joy Foster, said: “Women on a career break often need a boost in confidence that can be gained from learning new skills in an environment where they will receive peer support from like-minded women. I founded TechPixies with the idea that I could help these women return to work by updating their tech skills so that they have better job prospects when re-entering the workforce. Through support from government grants, socially-minded investors, crowdfunding and businesses like Azoomee, we have been able to do exactly that.”
Shirley Smith, 37, from Dartford, is a former merchandiser for major retail outlets and attended the TechPixies event. She said:
“I left work to have children and didn’t feel I wanted to struggle balancing the commute to London with raising a young family. I have started an Etsy shop called Ditzy Dottie selling handmade bags and I’m using this to bring myself back into the working environment. Now is the right time to explore different routes such as web design or digital marketing whether for my own business or as a consultant for others.”
Edith Serkovich, 35 from Wimbledon also attended the event. She said: “I run my own business and am keen to learn more about marketing and tech skills. I’m also interested in the fact TechPixies offer life coaching as running your own business can be quite isolating.”
The TechPixies programme has successfully piloted in Oxfordshire with 100 per cent of women from two cohorts now employed or running their own business.
The first London TechPixies course is due to begin in November 2017, a 12 week guide to digital marketing hosted at Azoomee’’s offices.
Estelle Lloyd, co-founder of Azoomee and winner of the Women in IT (tech) award 2016, commented:
“I founded Azoomee with my husband Douglas to give children a safe digital entertainment service that also teaches kids the essential 21st century skills: internet safety, coding skills and STEM.
As a female founder and a women in technology, I’m passionate about supporting women in this sector and have had some amazing opportunities to speak about female entrepreneurship, building and scaling tech businesses, kids online safety, digital education and more. Technology in particular has been at the heart of everything I’ve done in my career so I am delighted to be working with TechPixies.
Together, we can help women who may have had a career break to learn the tech skills they need to re-enter the workforce with confidence. We have the chance to be a part of real change – I have three daughters and that partnership means a lot to me!”
Paul Thomas, head of social business for Grant Thornton, a TechPixies supporter, added:
“Grant Thornton is excited to be supporting TechPixies by providing them with professional and unintimidating spaces to use for their work and training, in Oxford, London and across our network.
With TechPixies now expanding their business into London and beyond, we’re looking forward to connecting them with our local networks and supporting their future growth.”
For further information about TechPixies or to register on a course, visit techpixies.com.
For further information, contact:
Kelly Lea, PR Consultant, KellyLea PR, M: 07988 195 262; E: [email protected]
TechPixies is a social enterprise aiming to help women return to work by upskilling them tech and was founded by Joy Foster in 2015 following the award from the Government Equalities Office via Better Broadband for Oxfordshire and the Oxfordshire County Council the Government Equalities Office. In December 2016, Joy was recognised for her work on the TechPixies programme and was ‘Highly Commended’ at the Social Enterprise UK Awards in the Women’s Champion Category. In the same month, Joy secured a £15,000 ‘Grow it’ award from UnLtd, a London-based organisation that supports the work of social entrepreneurs across the country.
Grant Thornton UK LLP (free office space at PowWow)
923 Jobs (CV and job application advice)
SpecialEffect (free Dropbox space)
FiDUS Power (£2,500 donation)
Stack & Jones Accountants and Business Advisors (free office space)
Bloxham Mill Business Centre (complimentary meeting room space)
Azoomee (free office space)