2/11/2013

Get Your Code On!: Groups Engaging Women to Code

From venture capital groups in Silicon Valley to STEM field educators globally, the world of technology has seen a shortage of women entering coding and development-related fields. Nationwide in 2011, about 20% of all Computer Science degrees went to women and looking at some 2010 stats on women in technology show a widening gap in our participation in many related fields.

But in recent years, rather than waiting for women and girls to engage in computer science on their own, a new group of organizations dedicated to training and increasing the number of women involved in technology
fields have sprouted up to begin closing the gender gap.
  • Rails Girls
    Setting up day long conferences globally, Rail Girls is dedicated to teaching all interested women about Ruby on Rails. These free workshops bring together teachers and mentors from the local tech community with interested participants to code their first program and meet other women involved in related industries.
  • Girls Who Code
    A group dedicated to training 13-17 year old girls in technological skills, Girls Who Code recognized the education gap and set out to fill it. By bringing together major companies like Google and Twitter,
    they've set up an eight week program for interested girls to learn coding and hopefully move forward in a STEM field.
  • Web Start Women
    WSW is an example of a local group in Boston dedicated to running classes on a variety of technology projects but also uniting the community around them. Focused around web development skills, they provide both coding classes but also other skills like Photoshop for interested women.  If you are living in a major urban area and are interested to see if there is anything like this near you, check out meetup.com or do a quick Google search as these groups are popping up every day. Also look for an upcoming Gadchick post about online academies to increase your skills.
  • Girl Develop It!
    Providing opportunities around the world, GDI set out with the goal of engaging a diverse community of women in software development. By running classes for beginners or experts looking to pick up a new skill and also engaging participants through social gatherings and meet-ups, GDI is building a community of empowered women, But even if you can't attend in person, they also make all of their training materials available online.
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