METRO Mayor Steve Rotheram has launched a programme to encourage more young women to get into the tech sector.

Teaming up with local social enterprise InnovateHer to deliver a programme in schools across the Liverpool City Region, Mayor Rotheram is aiming to address the digital skills gap.

It is believed that only 20% of those currently working in technical roles in the city region are women but InnovateHer, part of Liverpool Girl Geeks, has been designed to change this.

The programme will give girls in year 8 access to the skills and confidence they need to pursue a career in technology.

Supported by the Mayoral Priority Fund, the programme will run in six schools this year - one in each of the local authority areas; Wirral, Liverpool, Halton, St Helens, Knowsley and Sefton.

The eight-week programme will be led by female mentors from the tech sector who will act as a role models and work with girls in year 8 to inspire them to choose Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) related subjects at GCSE and A level.

Mayor Rotheram told the Globe: “We know that girls are doing really well academically at school and often outperforming boys but they are still hugely under-represented in the digital and tech sector.

“As a city region and as a country we cannot afford to miss out on this huge pool of talent as girls and young women are lost to this vital sector as a result of choices they make at the age of 13.

“That is why this project is potentially so important – we know that in order to make a difference we need to engage with girls to spark their interest and give them the self-confidence to choose to study STEM-related subjects.”

As well as careers advice and mentoring, the programme will cover tech and digital skills such as UX design, programming, persona mapping, pitching and marketing.

Jo Morfee, co-founder of InnovateHer said: “Traditionally, there has been a perception that girls aren’t suited to technology-based roles.

"Gender-bias is instilled in girls from school age in many ways.

“For example, pioneering female technology innovators are rarely discussed and most technology roles are already dominated by men, which perpetuates the myth that women aren’t suited to these roles.

“However, nowadays, digital skills are needed in every business, whatever the sector.

"Whether it’s building websites, graphic design, or computer games design, there are a huge range of careers and opportunities available in the digital sector and we need to ensure that girls aren’t missing out.”

The Combined Authority has invited schools across the Liverpool City Region to submit an expression of interest for the programme which will start in April.

For more information on the programmes email