Trainline and Code First: Girls have announced a partnership to help 20,000 women in the UK to code for free by 2020, as part of the Code First: Girls’ 20:20 Campaign.

The partnership represents a commitment by Trainline, Europe’s leading independent rail and coach platform, to support the work of Code First: Girls in addressing issues of diversity in the technology sector within the UK.

As well as financial support, Trainline will help deliver the training programme by providing in-house specialists as mentors.

It will also open up the programme for women at Trainline who would like to learn how to code.

Code First: Girls’ campaign aims to raise £1.5m - £500k each year for three years to upskill 20,000 women in the UK in coding, with Trainline partnering to support this goal.

The partnership comes at a time of stark underrepresentation for women in the UK’s technology sector.

According to the UK Office of National Statistics’ most recent figures, only 3.9 per cent of tech and telco professionals in the UK were female programmers and software developers.

Trainline’s own innovation trajectory has seen it develop and release the UK’s first predictive pricing tool for rail tickets and the most advanced rail voice assistant in the UK, among other innovations, within the past 12 months.

With a team made up of 48 nationalities, the business recognises the importance of diversity and the necessity to address issues of gender imbalance in tech both now and in the future.

“Tackling gender imbalance and championing talent within the technology industry is at the absolute core of Trainline’s culture and values,” said Trainline CEO Clare Gilmartin.

“We are proud to partner with Code First: Girls, an organisation that is a force for real and positive change within the UK’s technology industry.

“An increase in female programmers, developers and engineers will have profound benefits to the UK’s tech economy, its businesses and its customers.”

Code First: Girls CEO Amali de Alwis commented: “Code First: Girls is excited to partner with Trainline on our 2020 campaign.

“We look forward to supporting them with building and tapping into a talent pool of incredible women looking to develop their careers in tech, as well as to help women understand what tech oriented careers are available to them.

“Trainline, an innovative tech company committed to diversity, shares many common goals with our organisation and we are delighted to have them on board.”