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6 ways Thomson Reuters empowers women in tech

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Thomson Reuters is a mass media and information company—technology is our bread and butter. It’s in our best interest to advance the technological prowess of our employees, but we also feel that we have a responsibility to help correct the gender imbalance in technology on a wider scale. There are many ways we go about balancing the scale. Here are 6 of the ways that we work to empower women in tech, both under our own roof, and in our broader communities. 

1. Girls-only CoderDojo

Across nine countries, Thomson Reuters volunteers from our Bangalore, Geneva, London, Nottingham, Exmouth, Washington D.C., Ann Arbor, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York and Dallas offices logged over 100 volunteer hours hosting a girls-only CoderDojo global marathon to change the world one byte at a time. 300 girls signed up for the Thomson Reuters-sponsored events, where they participated in HTML coding, pair programming, building apps and sharing presentations. CoderDojo is a community of free programming clubs to give young people the opportunity to learn how to write code; build websites, apps, and games; and explore digital media and technology.

2. Commitment to 40% representation of women in senior leadership roles by 2020  

On International Women’s Day in March 2017, we furthered our commitment to gender equality within our leadership. Jim Smith, our CEO, announced a goal of 40 percent representation of women in senior leadership roles by 2020. This announcement builds on the focus and activities we began in 2013, championed by our Women’s Advisory Taskforce, to ensure that our leadership better reflects our global workforce. In 2017, our female representation in leadership increased to 32 percent, an 8.5 percent increase over four years.

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3. Women in technology employee network 

The Women in Technology employee network is a special interest group within our Women@TR employee network and acts as a platform for women in technology to better communicate and build strong, supportive networks. This employee network leads our company in its celebration of International Women’s Day, and leads company-wide campaigns, such as “We4She,” which has the goal of promoting awareness among both women and men to help accelerate women’s advancement. 

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4. Mentoring program

Mentoring at Thomson Reuters is a program available to all employees, worldwide. The program is voluntary and fosters career and personal development by pairing more experienced employees with newer employees in similar roles. Lisa Bender, a software engineer in our Toronto Technology Centre, participates in our mentoring program in Toronto. “In terms of the Toronto office, there is great peer mentorship programs and support that is aimed towards new grads and developers in all stages of their careers. The peer mentorship program I am involved in,” Lisa says, “is specific to developers in the Cognitive Computing Centre. It was organized by a member from our Rochester, NY office and launched back in October."

The program pairs less seasoned developers with the department’s more seasoned developers every three months. The pairs meet at least twice-a-month. And, during the meetings, the members can do code review meetings, teaching/tutoring, paired programming, or other types of meetings which are decided by the people in the pair. "I used my first meetings to discuss ask a senior developer about their experiences and career progression. I have also used meetings to go over code and learn about new tools and methods. There is also a program at the Toronto office for new grads that I was involved in when I first joined TR. This program offers talks and social events for new grads and interns in the office.”

5. Girls Make Games

47% of gamers are women, but women make up less than 12% of the gaming industry. This inconsistency is the reason LearnDistrict began its Girls Make Games program, which is a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams designed to inspire the next generation of designers, creators, and engineers.

Thomson Reuters partners with LearnDistrict to host Girls Make Games workshops that teach girls, ages 8-16, the process of video game development, which includes game design and programming. This workshop is designed to instill a love and excitement for game-making as well as creative expression through writing, art, game design, and of course, programming. Participants will create a 2d platformer game - think Super Mario Bros. The creation process will cover game-design concepts such as: player character, enemies, goals, levels, obstacles, and so forth. In addition, participants will learn to program and manipulate code. 

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6. Grace Hopper Celebration

The Grace Hopper Celebration is the world's largest gathering of women technologists. The three-day event features presentations by leading tech experts, educational programs, abundant networking, career opportunities with top technology companies, and much more. In addition to sending more than 80 employee representatives, Thomson Reuters is sending recruiters, eight employee speakers and is supporting the conference as a gold sponsor once again. 

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