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Bernadette proudly partners with Czechitas

Czechitas group shot

Bernadette is proud to be partnered with Czechitas — a Czech NGO on a mission to close the digital gender divide by supporting IT training for women and girls.

Begun in spring 2020, this ongoing collaboration is thanks in part to the initiative of Jan Louda, one of our Prague-based team leaders. In mid June 2022, we helped complete a fourth round of dedicated training courses — and we’re looking forward to the next one.

Czechitas is a well-known non-governmental social enterprise in the Czech Republic. In their own words, “the future of work and the future of education depend not only on digital access and digital literacy, but also the ability to create digital opportunities for all. Women lack access to IT-focused jobs due to economic barriers, cultural biases, and social hurdles. While IT training initiatives exist in the Czech Republic, most options are unaffordable or inaccessible to a large segment of the population, particularly women.”

The Prague team has been lucky enough to experience Czechitas’ potential first-hand with the hiring of our Midweight Front End Developer, Marie Hrabovská. Two years ago, Marie was a Czechitas graduate herself. At that time, we were struggling to find a developer for various reasons, so it was great to see our creative investment in the partnership happily come full circle when we were able to take her on as a member of the team.

Czechitas Digital Academy helped me to gain the knowledge and confidence to make a career change, and transition into the tech industry

Marie Hrabovská, Mid-weight Interactive Developer

Marie Hrabovska

And, our ‘new Dev on the block’ couldn’t have been happier with how everything turned out. “Czechitas Digital Academy helped me to gain the knowledge and confidence to make a career change, and transition into the tech industry”, says Marie. “It’s required a lot of perseverance, persistence and patience, but it's definitely been worth it”, she added.

Bernadette specifically supports an intensive three-month educational and mentoring program called ‘Digital Academy: Web’. Focused on front-end web development, it helps students learn the solid basics such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and React. It’s intended for women of all backgrounds — including mothers on maternity leave, recent graduates or those who simply want to change their field of work — and, once they complete a final project and qualification exam, it puts them on an exciting new career trajectory.

None of this could be possible without the financial support of partner companies and charitable organisations.

So, we’re proud to be doing our part in helping keep the prices of these courses low enough to make IT education accessible to as many people as possible.

People watching presentation
Video call attendees

In addition to financial support, we’ve also actively collaborated in the program by hosting virtual visits to our office in Prague. Course participants have been able to tour the agency via a Zoom video conference, and watch a presentation of our values and our work. We also talk them through recruitment processes, staff onboarding, and the benefits of agency life.

We’ve even provided mentoring services, thanks to our own developer team members Zdeněk Suda and Mike Beckman. They were on hand to support Marie during the final stage of her personal project, which included a full weekend hackathon. The big advantage of this approach is that both students and companies have time to get to know each other.

Jan, Zdenek and Mike
Marie presenting

Marie has been working with us now for almost 2 years, applying her skills in HTML banners and email development for various clients. She’s working to advance her skills even further (recently she started turning her hand to React) and we’ve all admired the progress she’s been making.

Marie has since gone on to help motivate newer students to follow her example. This led in part to the hiring of Nikola Kabátová, another promising talent to join our team in August 2022 — almost exactly two years after we onboarded Marie.


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