VHTO, National expert organisation girls/women and science/technology

VHTO, the Dutch national expert organisation on girls/women and science/technology, makes an effort in many different ways to increase the involvement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Although research over the past decade has made clear that girls are no less talented than boys in STEM, girls and women are still underrepresented in these fields in education and on the labour market. This is inconvenient for both girls/women and for society. Girls/women have equal rights as boys/men to develop their STEM talents, and society would benefit from fully exploiting all available talent.

DigiVita: Girls in IT

In the Netherlands girls and women are highly underrepresented in Computer Sciences (CS) and IT-jobs. VHTO therefore launched ‘DigiVita’ in January 2014, a national program to get more girls involved in CS. DigiVita organises a wide range of activities together with CS-teachers in secondary school, and extracurricular activities like chat sessions with female IT-professionals, the annual national app design competition Digibattle and Code Events for girls. VHTO is proud to be one of the Google RISE Awards Recipients.

More than 60 Dutch girls (aged 8 to 18) attended the DigiVita Code Event in Amsterdam to learn how to code. The girls participated in several coding workshops guided by female IT-professionals and students. The DigiVita Code Event was organised by VHTO and took place on Ada Lovelace Day, October 14th. The event was part of the Europe Code Week, an initiative by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, and her ‘Young Advisors’. Read more


Furthermore VHTO and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) work together to  increase the involvement of women and girls in IT-research. In November 2014 VHTO will organise a national conference for female IT-researchers and female CS-students, to inform students about the academic career possibilities.

Projects and networks

VHTO participates in a great variety of international projects and networks and uses knowledge gained from working with partners abroad to bring best practice into the Netherlands as well as sharing Dutch experiences with international relations. Read more about:

Trend analysis gender in higher STEM education

Since the early 1980s, VHTO, the Dutch National Expert Organisation on Girls/Women and Science/Technology, has been building up knowledge and experience of the participation of girls and women in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and deploying this expertise in areas such as education. Read more in the publication Trend analysis gender in higher STEM education. You can also order this publication by sending an e-mail to vhto@verwijder-dit.vhto.nl