American Embassy Rome
Young Conference Room
October 8, 2019
(As prepared for delivery)
Let me begin by thanking Mirta Michilli and Alessandra Donnini and their staff from the Fondazione Mondo Digitale. Together with Microsoft, the Fondazione has been an outstanding partner since Coding Girls was launched in 2014 with a pilot project in Rome.
Thank you to Ms. Cominelli from Microsoft and Professor Catarci from La Sapienza. Your presence is a meaningful step forward for this project.
Thank you Minister Paola Pisano for joining us today. You can be assured that the U.S. mission is and will continue to be a steadfast partner in innovation.
Thank you to all of the teachers and schools for embracing this exciting and innovative project. It is a tribute to your commitment and a recognition of the importance of innovation in training the next generation of young professionals. You are tackling persistent stereotypes that women are less passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, what we call, STEM.
And finally, thank you to all of the participants for choosing to devote time and attention to coding, for choosing to explore new avenues, and facing new challenges, including participating in this program in English with American trainers.
Coding Girls has grown from 100 girls participating in 2014 to 6,000 this year. This clearly demonstrates the importance of the issue and the success of the program.
The project continues to move in a positive direction by deepening ties between universities and the business community. These relationships are critical to its success.
Technology transfer and innovation are key factors for economic growth and the technology sector is increasingly demanding specialized skills.
Girls and women are gaining greater opportunities to receive the appropriate training, enter a highly skilled and lucrative job market, and take a central role in economic growth. That’s the goal of Coding Girls: to prepare a new generation to fill the technology needs of businesses.
The U.S. Mission is proud to be at the forefront of this incredibly important issue and the strong commitment to STEM education and women’s empowerment.
Congratulations to all of you who have completed the program and good luck to those who are participating this year. I hope you have an invigorating and rewarding experience.
Grazie a tutti.