Federica Daniele founds and association for education and equal opportunities
“Have you ever wished you could give back to your community and young generations?”. These are the words of Federica Daniele, Luiss graduate and economist at Banca d’Italia, who completed a PhD in Economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. As soon as she came back to Italy after 9 years abroad, she wanted to give shape to an idea: interpreting education from a gender perspective.
This is how CD: 50/50 – Coding Diversity has started: a non-profit association, promoting the development of Digital Competences, equally for girls and boys and respecting the diversity of individuals.
“I am perfectly familiar with data showing the mismatch between labor supply and demand and I am aware of how difficult it is for companies, especially small and medium sized businesses, to find people with suitable digital skills. Unfortunately, the school system does not pay enough attention to these skills”.
Still, data scientists are among the most demanded experts nowadays: “the wealth of companies depends on data; being able to analyze and process data is the empowering knowledge of the future”, Federica Daniele explains.
“In addition, from a gender perspective, only 20% of graduates in STEM disciplines are female. On the one hand, this is probably due to misinformation; on the other hand, there is a lack of role models in the labor landscape. This is the reason why we believe in the importance of a gender-equal participation to the activities we organize, in order to develop the digital competences for the youngest students. As we would like to achieve a twofold objective – the reduction of the digital gap and, simultaneously, the reduction of the gender gap – this year we launched the project Coding & Data Science. By mixing lectures and live coding in the class, we will cooperate with four high-schools in Rome, Milan and Bari, reaching more than 100 boys and girls”. The teaching framework will be that of the “Pathways for the Soft Skills and the Study Advisory”, which is promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education. Students will receive training credits upon participation to the activities organized by the tutors and members of the Association, in collaboration with 42 Roma Luiss.
The team of CD: 50/50 – Coding Diversity consists of academics, neuroscientists, communication specialists and companies, all with experience in education. The Association now aims to grow: “We welcome new members and tutors for the classes”. For CD: 50/50 this first year is a pilot, but new directions have already been drawn. There is the intention of “developing a strategy for the project impact assessment, offering the girls mentorship programs – from school until graduation –, as well as participating in funding bids”.
Among the values she learnt from University years and now inherited by this initiative “there certainly is the business approach”, Federica Daniele concludes.
Virginia Gullotta, Journalist