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Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) has launched a competition asking young women to come up with ideas for a smartphone application focused on sustainability in fashion.
The campaign, called Incredible Girls of the Future, is asking women between the ages of 16 and 25 to submit ideas for an app that will in some way lead to industry change for the better, such as sustainability.
Winners of the competition will be given the chance to take part in a mentorship programme with executives from YNAP, which will help the winner implement their idea.
Federico Marchetti, chairman and CEO of YNAP, said: “There aren’t enough women in tech. We strongly believe that fashion can provide an effective lens to tackle this issue and change young people’s perceptions, helping to introduce more female talent to digital careers and fulfil their creative potential.
“That’s why Yoox Net-A-Porter Group is inviting the future generation of female entrepreneurs to pitch their best ‘fashtech’ innovations. They are the ones who will drive a more inclusive and sustainable luxury industry.”
In 2018, research by YNAP found half of young girls don’t think a career in technology would be exciting, which is something the firm hopes the competition can help address.
There are also many misconceptions about what a career in technology involves, with young people, teachers and parents alike unaware of the different sectors tech jobs can span, putting many young women off of a tech-focused career due to a lack of knowledge or exposure.
Federico Marchetti, Yoox Net-A-Porter
YNAP has partnered with people in both the fashion and tech sectors to develop a judging panel for the competition, and the initiative overall aims to promote the more creative types of tech careers available to encourage young women to consider these roles in the future.
The competition judges are Brent Hoberman, co-founder and executive chairman at Firstminute Capital, Founders Factory and Founders Forum; Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer at Endeavor; Margherita Maccapani Missoni, creative director of M Missoni; Leandra Medine, author and founder of Man Repeller; and Brita Fernandez Schmidt, executive director of Women for Women International UK.
In selecting the winners and runners-up for the competition, who will each receive prizes from the brand, the judges will be looking for an original idea, a show of entrepreneurship, thorough planning, problem-solving skills and a high-quality presentation.
Many have claimed having a more diverse workforce can make firms more innovative because it invites different ways of thinking into the company. Digital skills are becoming increasingly important across all industries, fashion and retail included.
“It is incredibly important to nurture young talent and provide a platform for their voices to be heard,” said competition judge Margherita Maccapani Missoni. “This industry flourishes from fresh innovation, and the growing digital age requires tech-savvy creativity more than ever.”
Entries are open until 1 July 2019.
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