Coding had traditionally been a male dominated field. 62% of software developers are men. The lack of women and girls in the engineering or coding is already a well – documented problem (there has been many journals, articles, reports, and researches published). Employers are well aware of this.
To bridge this gap, it is time for changes, to empower women.
The True Reasons
Some of the major factors affecting retention of women in coding world are the social prejudices and taboos. The lack of incentive to attract girls into coding starts from the early age, specifically during their elementary education. Both in west and east, while boys are allowed to play with scientific toys like robots, cars and game boys, girls are given soft toys and barbies.
Girls hardly see female engineers as their role model.
The solution for better participation from them is a change in society at a large. If girls don’t dream of such profession, then it is very unlikely for them to pursue it.
Begin At The Early Age
To address the issue of coding and women, you don’t have to start your own non-profit organization. You can just begin by giving the power to dream to a girl you know- let a girl have her wings, she’ll learn how to fly herself.
If an appliance breaks in your house, bring your girl to fix it, rather than your son. Such little change can bring huge positive impact on girls. Start preparing your girls from their childhood. The stronger the base, the better the output will be. According to GUARDIAN, women are thought of better in coding, given the fact that their gender identity is hidden.
Moreover, female written codes were approved at a higher rate of 78.6% than men’s ones- 74.6%. Therefore, next time you see anyone being skeptical of girls’ ability to code, show them the reports.
Organizations At Support
As said before, you don’t necessarily need to form up a non-profit organization to empower women into the coding sector. There are many outstanding organizations and institutions at work, supporting girls to code through innovative and creativity.
BLACK GIRLS CODE is a superb innovative who promotes to imagine, build and create. The initiative had been taken as for the massive demand from girls for such beneficial programs, as only a meager quantity of them exists.
Another great school is GIRLS WHO CODE, working to end the gender inequality in the tech and engineering sectors.
One of the reasons girls don’t pursue engineering degree in college is because high schools don’t promote such amazing fields. This non – profit organization operates to educate, motivate and equip high school girls with the right mastery and resources to pursue opportunities in computing fields.
In addition to that, they show women hold only 25% of tech jobs, despite contributing to 50% of labor force. Women represented 37% of computer science graduates in 1984, which has now surprisingly decreased to 18% only. Wasn’t the number supposed to increase rather than decrease?
Another innovative new program is the 1000 girls 1000 fortunes. This, was designed to take on one of the world’s biggest hurdles right now; pooling more women into STEM.
The program works with mentors and men-tees, creating a positive impact in society ( can be online education as well ). They target high school girls and provide them with the innovative programming expertise needed on for 21st century. Furthermore, this wonderful organization promotes online learning platform making it more convenient for teachers and student (for one full calendar year). Couldn’t get any better!
Role Of Local Schools
In Finland, coding will be a part of the school curriculum by 2016. Wohoo! If you want that in your area, then demand for it. As a responsible parent or a guardian, you can put pressure on the school administration to include computer science courses for various age levels. In this way, schoolgirls will be more familiar with coding and less intimidated of it.
If you’re a teacher, you can encourage ONE DAY TRAINING for elementary school kids. If your area does not have such facilities or coders, then try to bring coders from neighborhood for a one day workshop in every 3/6 months or so.
Girl Coders Club
Having a coders club for only girls in a schools, colleges, and universities can be a very fun way to motivate women.
Girls can learn to code and share interesting knowledge with peers through leadership in a safe and friendly environment might be one of the best possible learning ways. Not just to break the stereotype, buy just showing girls can code, it’s also about getting in action and doing it.
Before jumping into the action pool or taking first steps to assist girls into coding, at first you need to know of what skills they need. Girls can start with a more simplistic and easy, drag – and – drop methods of coding. It will allow them to develop something stimulating, hence, leading to satisfaction and happiness rather than frustration or disappointment.
Many prefer to start with the programming language SCRATCH, then HTML, JAVA, RUBY, etc. Some prefer to go straight for JAVA, as they think HTML is only best for making websites. To some, code is just a tool to facilitate solving in a specific way.
Few even go for pink stuff to encourage girls in to coding, like making them wear pink t-shirts, badges, pink coding, etc. Many schools and programs also start with girls coding for 3D bracelets and accessories to make it fun and interesting for the young girls. Though it is controversial, as many think it is stereotyping them, but there are many ways to promote, you can choose whichever you think is the wisest.
Wrapping up here, the problem isn’t that girls are inherently uninterested in coding because it’s a boy-like thing. It’s fundamentally because girls aren’t encouraged, given adequate access or properly valued as technical thinkers from start. To fix this matter, we at first, need to change our mentality. It’s high time we do it. We should empower women through coding.