Langenhagen, Germany, 18 October 2017
Since 2015, Konica Minolta has been sponsoring the NGO “Czechitas”, running a project to support entrepreneurship and IT knowledge capacity building for women in cooperation with the worldwide organisation “Impact Hub”. Having started in 2015/2016 with a pilot project in the Czech Republic, the project was extended to Germany in 2016/2017 and will now also be running its 3rd phase in 2017/2018 in Poland and Austria.
IT is still a male-dominated domain. Studies found that the percentage of female employees ranges from 15% to 40% in OECD countries. With the sponsorship, Konica Minolta supports educational one-day workshops, where students learn programming, web development, graphic design and data analysis. The workshops show female pupils, students, professionals, entrepreneurs and career changers a new perspective in the IT environment and focus on how IT topics are approached and implemented in a corporate environment. Dita Přikrylová, Founder of the non-profit organisation Czechitas, explains the project’s goal: “As part of our workshops, we will provide students with sufficient knowledge to be able to apply in future jobs relating to programming, online marketing and data analysis”. Furthermore, Konica Minolta provides its own IT expertise by way of different company speakers at the workshops. The first workshops started in the Czech Republic in September this year. A total of 240 women will be trained in this country. Next year, Germany will follow in January, Austria in February and Poland in March.
Great demand for workshops
The cooperation with Konica Minolta has been taking place since 2015. Within three years, a number of workshops took place in the Czech Republic and Germany. In total, over 50 workshops and courses, attended by more than 1,000 women, have been organised through Konica Minolta’s partnership.
“These are not just numbers; it is a few thousands of lives that we have changed. Our participants fully demonstrate that IT is not an obstacle for women but a challenge. Over the past few years, hundreds of women have completely changed their life goals, and they are now working in the fastest-growing sector of the workplace. We even managed to connect three Czechitas graduates directly to the Konica Minolta office in Brno. Our goal is not just to change the stereotypes; we want to complement the school system in its problematic areas – most notably computer science teaching. Women do not even know how big a potential they have in this industry. We give them the basic knowledge and, above all, self-confidence. They have to continue themselves, but their results are amazing”, adds Přikrylová. “Our courses gain high resonance and are usually fully booked within the first week of registration. This gives us the reassurance that our approach is going the right way.”
“We strongly believe in this sponsorship and want to contribute to make this project together with Czechitas more international year by year”, states Katrin Oppermann, General Manager of Human Resources & Academy at Konica Minolta. “Konica Minolta is constantly striving for diversity in its teams, and it is therefore only logical to expand the programme to support women internationally in the field of IT.”
Czechitas is a non-profit organisation established on 20 May 2014 which inspires and educates new talents for stronger diversity and competitiveness in technology. In the summer of 2015, they were awarded the Social Impact Award for their social contribution. They have started to work on the long-term sustainability of their business and the future of Czechitas. Along with Keboola, Czechitas created DataGirls – courses on data analytics. They realised that the choice of future employment needed to be made even sooner, so they quickly turned to the academy programming project, which educates teachers and children in primary and secondary schools. In 2015, their founder Dita was ranked among the New Europe 100 challengers, in other words, among the TOP one hundred innovators from Central and Eastern Europe who are trying to make the world a better place by using digital technology.
About Impact Hub
IMPACT HUB is an inspiring workspace (approx. 6,000 m2 in the Czech Republic) that includes technical equipment.
It is a vibrant community of change makers and innovators (more than 1,100 members) who work together to connect people, ideas and financial support.
It has a team of 64 people (32 in Prague, 20 in Brno,12 in Ostrava) that includes:
- a special team dedicated to community support and development;
- a special events and programming team (annually, they host over 550 major events in Prague alone); and
- a dedicated team for incubation and acceleration activities.
About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan, forming part of its Business Technologies business area. As a leading global services provider in the field of IT- and document processes as well as digital production printing solutions, the company excels in services-led business consulting, implementation and management, and provides a range of world-leading printing systems and solutions. In this context, Konica Minolta’s Optimized Print Services concept (OPS) combines consultancy, hardware, software implementation and operation in order to enhance business process efficiency and cost-effectiveness. To support customers optimally with powerful and sustainable solutions, technology leader Konica Minolta continuously invests in research and development work and regularly sets new standards. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With over 9,700 employees (as of March 2017), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over EUR 2.4 billion in financial year 2016/17.
For further information about the company, please visit: www.konicaminolta.eu.
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