Putting future talent on the map: How TomTom supports inclusive tech education for all
Mehdi Comeau·Jul 17, 2023

Putting future talent on the map: How TomTom supports inclusive tech education for all

Mehdi Comeau blogjpeg
Mehdi Comeau
Jul 17, 2023 · 4 min read
How TomTom supports inclusive tech education | TomTom Newsroom

Technology continues to shape how people live around the world. But who gets to work in tech, and who doesn’t? Without fair access to quality tech education, many people may never have the chance to contribute to building our shared future. That’s why we’re opening up tech ed opportunities at and beyond TomTom.

Behind every great idea there’s an individual. But where was that individual before they sparked the breakthrough? How did they get there? And how did they turn that idea into a reality? Gaining access to the right education can make all the difference, opening a world of new opportunities.

The United Nations has recognized the fact that there are large gaps in access to education, leaving many people without an equal chance to contribute to the betterment of society. So, the U.N. set quality education as one of the Global Goals (aka the SDGs), seeking to help build a fair, equitable and inclusive future for all.

As a global technology company, we know that our impact reaches beyond our products and services. We’re motivated to help people from all backgrounds and gender identities make their impact in the world of tech. Not because it’s our responsibility, but because it’s exciting.

We are opening the doors to tech education and supporting career opportunities. How? By taking initiative both within our organization and through external partnerships.

Tech education at TomTom

Learning never stops, and we have a host of initiatives to support all TomTom’ers in their continued growth. But when it comes to gaining access to tech education in the first place, we take different steps. Mainly, we focus on internships and our annual student hackathon, TomTom NEXT.

Through internships, we invite students from diverse backgrounds into an environment that helps them answer the big questions of what they want to do or achieve in their careers. Interns at TomTom get a chance to develop their skills and expand their knowledge through hands-on experience, while also seeing how their efforts are contributing to the world of mapmaking. Many interns stay at TomTom, and some use their experience to move on and achieve other things. Either way, access to tech education served as their springboard.

Through our annual global student hackathon, TomTom NEXT, we support and expand students’ education by giving them the chance to apply their knowledge and solve real-world challenges. While bridging the gap between theory and practice, the hackathon also incentivizes students to work in teams, collaborate and innovate alongside TomTom experts who provide support and mentorship throughout the event.

Students in Pune, India, participating in the second edition of the TomTom NEXT hackathon.Students in Pune, India, participating in the second edition of the TomTom NEXT hackathon.

Partnering with NGOs and educational institutions

Through partnerships, we bring tech education to those outside of TomTom, giving more people across the world access to tech education and career opportunities. Our two main partners for education include Codam Coding College in the Netherlands and Katalyst in India.

Codam is a free coding school that teaches software engineering to people from all backgrounds and age groups, with no prior education or diploma needed. By working together, we’re able to connect with students who we wouldn’t otherwise meet, and give them the opportunity to jump right into professional experience at TomTom. We also have a Codam Fellows program, where TomTom’ers offer guidance and mentorship to Codam students, helping them build their professional goals and learn more about working in tech.

Katalyst is an NGO that prepares young women from unprivileged backgrounds for leadership roles in the STEM field. Supporting 4,000+ students from a low-income background, Katalyst works with some 200 colleges to provide them with quality education. Through our partnership, over the span of four years TomTom will fund scholarships for seven women to support their engineering careers, while we continue empowering more women from Katalyst to pursue new opportunities in the world of tech. To help make a greater impact, every TomTom’er also has a paid time off benefit that they can use to volunteer at organizations like Katalyst.

A little opportunity goes a long way

Fair, equitable and inclusive access to quality tech education is crucial to building a better future for all. From internships, to global student hackathons, to the right partnerships, it’s all about taking steps to help more people access the tech industry and contribute to shaping the world we all live in. Everyone plays a role. And who knows, maybe one of those people will have the idea that drives the next greatest technological breakthrough.

Are you looking to make your impact in the world of tech?

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