We were the first corporate organisation to work with CoderDojo WA to set up and run our own CoderDojo @ Bankwest – a free and fun open-learning coding club for people aged seven to 17 to help them develop coding and digital literacy skills.
We’ve also broadened our support of CoderDojo to inspire children with autism to consider careers in technology.
What's more, each year female mentors from Bankwest run a girls-only 'dojo' during the school holidays. Girls from other CoderDojos across Perth are invited to come in and spend the day with other like-minded girls in a supportive environment at Bankwest Place. As the state's biggest IT employer, Bankwest wants to show that 'coding is cool' and that IT can be a great career choice for women.
In recognition of the powerful contribution individuals on the autism spectrum can make to society, especially due to skills that fit roles which require great concentration and attention to detail (such as software testing), we partnered with the Curtin University Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) and the Australian Computer Society (ACS) the professional association for Australia's ICT sector - to create Australia’s first technology scholarship program for autistic students.
Working with these industry experts, we’ve welcomed new recruits as undergraduate software testers within the boundaries of this structured, highly-supportive program.
Michael New, who participated in the program and was then offered a permanent role in our graduate program, says:
“When I first joined Bankwest I was concerned about the stereotypes and stigma associated with autism. My fears were quickly put to rest when I saw just how awesome each and every one of our colleagues are. I love doing what I do as I have an eye for detail, and don’t feel afraid to challenge decisions and processes.”
If you’d like to contact us about any of our community programs, we’d love to hear from you.