Heart of Midlothian today announced an exciting new sponsorship that sees the name of the charity, Scotland Women in Technology, take pride of place on the Hearts Women shirt.
Scotland Women in Technology (SWiT) exists to Celebrate, Champion and Invest in women in the technology sector in Scotland. This unique sponsorship will raise awareness of SWiT’s work, showing girls and women that technology is for them. It aligns perfectly with the club’s ambition of supporting diversity and addressing the gender gap in both sport and IT.
The Club sees great benefits in linking football and technology to create aspiration amongst girls and positive role models in both. Sporting the name of Scotland Women in Technology cements this link and through an innovative commercial deal, galvanises the collective will of the Scottish tech industry to address a worrying gender imbalance.
The sponsorship initiative is being funded by a group of companies who support the club’s vision and who are keen to demonstrate their own support for creating a more balanced workplace.
Dell Technologies has been unveiled as the first sponsor to come on board and more names are expected before the start of the women’s league season in March.
Lynsey Campbell, Chair of SWiT commented: “SWiT are always looking for ways to broaden our message of equality, particularly gender parity, in technology. We have witnessed an impressive amount of success for women's football in recent years and are thrilled to be able to join forces between two successful initiatives to generate an even more powerful impact on society in Scotland as a whole. The work being carried out by Hearts to partner technology with social good is nothing short of ground breaking and we hope this partnership really showcases an alternative way to bring seemingly disparate groups together to make powerful and lasting impact on new audiences.”
Hearts Owner, Chair and CEO, Ann Budge commented: “I built my career in technology and I understand how important support at an early age is in inspiring young women to achieve their goals. By pulling together to create a groundswell of support in this combined sponsorship, we can send a really strong message that Scotland’s tech sector is committed to supporting diversity and to addressing the gender imbalance.”
Through its Innovation Centre that was set up in 2019 with sponsorship from Baillie Gifford and support from Dell Technologies, Hearts provides a range of digital education programmes designed to help young people across south west Edinburgh to become a more representative part of the tech industry workforce. The Club has introduced new programmes designed to boost the number of girls taking part and has forged links between tech and sport to encourage participation in both.
The Observatory for Sport Scotland recently highlighted a worrying drop in the number of girls taking part in sport. By the age of 11 only two thirds of girls participate in any physical activity and this figure decreases to 45% once girls reach the age of 13.
Football is helping to buck this trend with a good increase in numbers of girls - no doubt inspired by the performance of Shelley Kerr’s Scotland team - taking part in the past year. Football is now the second highest participation sport behind swimming for girls in Scotland. Hearts has invested heavily to build girls’ and women’s football capability. Hearts Women achieved promotion to Scotland’s top flight in November and has gone from strength to strength since the arrival of Kevin Murphy from Manchester City. The Club has now integrated girls’ and women’s football fully into its elite Academy structure and is the first team in Scotland to offer the same world class facilities and support to girls and women as it does to men.
The Club already has the name of Save the Children on the front of shirt for the men’s team; an initiative that has attracted global coverage.
All enquries about sponsorship should be directed to Calum Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SWiT (known as Scotland Women in Technology) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), Scottish Charity number: SC049443