View of Smartdc logo with students in the foreground

Inspiring students for VHTO’s Girls’ Day 2023

Smartdc's Rotterdam opened its doors to girls from a local school as part of VHTO's Girls' Day on March 30, 2023. On this day, girls all throughout the Netherlands are visiting companies in the tech industry.

Smartdc Rotterdam opened its doors to a group of 22 girls from the local high school to commemorate Girls’ Day 2023 on March 30, organized in collaboration with VHTO.

Encouraging inclusion

Girls’ Day is a yearly initiative from the VHTO expertise center on gender diversity in beta sciences, technology, and IT, to encourage young girls to choose a career in these technical fields. On this day, girls all over the Netherlands visit related workplaces to get hands-on experience in these subjects and be around role models that resonate with them, such as Smartdc’s female experts.

The day at the data center started off with an online presentation by VHTO about the importance of Girls’ Day. This was followed by an interactive introductory presentation about the work of Smartdc by Daley Balgobind-Jager (Manager Data Centers EMEA) alongside information about the activities planned for the day. 

The students were then divided into two groups, to allow for a more focused and hands-on approach to the workshops. One of the groups started off with a tour of the Smartdc data center with Daley and Evelien Smeenk (Manager of Development), while the other worked on a programming exercise by Scarlett Samantha Verheul (Backend Software Engineer), Andrea Williams (Technical Writer) and Lot Meerman (Scrum Master). The two groups were then switched around and participated in the other activity to get the most out of the day.

The data center tour

During the tour, Daley and Evelien spoke to the girls about how the data center functions and the design philosophy behind each of its many components. They also touched on the significance of data centers in modern technological infrastructure. Our team explained the many features and plans of redundancy in the power and cooling systems and sustainability efforts to work towards a more environmentally responsible industry. The girls also got to see our newly inaugurated residual heat waste project in action!

Hands-on experience

In the programming workshop, Scarlett, Evelien and Lot provided an introduction to programming, with an explanation on the basics of coding. This was followed by introductory training in coding using Scratch, to help the girls in creating their first program. The objective was to create a fun mini-game and the girls did really well in following the instructions and creating their very own program!

Closing off

After the two workshops, the participants and staff members of Smartdc got together for a brief lunch, with a closing presentation to allow for time for the students to ask questions of their choosing. We said our goodbyes with exciting goody bags for the students, with the hope that a day in the data center was a fulfilling experience that could ultimately inspire some of the girls to pursue a career in tech! 

The Smartdc team prides itself on its commitment to inclusion and we hope that initiatives such as this are utilized to bring more diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. 

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