Can’t code, won’t code – cracking the secret of gender imbalance in STEM

She believes that one of the possible ways to encourage more girls and women into the sector may come from education after university. “We have so much potential in the older generations,” she points out. “Older people have more time, they can dedicate themselves and be a champion.”

Adult training represents a way into coding for millions of women who never learnt when they were younger. Meetups such as those run by organisations such as Women Who Code and Codebar can introduce women to the collaborative, problem-solving world of programming. Meanwhile, tech bootcamps such as Makers Academyand workshops like Techmums and Digital Mums can give women the tools to get into technology, social media and programing.

Evgeny Shadchnev, co-founder of Makers Academy, says that out of the last completed cohort of a 12-week bootcamp, 21 per cent were female, with nearly all going on to find jobs as developers – way below half, but still above the industry average for women who code.

Shortly after finishing Makers Academy, Sarah Young started as a junior developer at Deloitte Digital. “I like to code. I like the logic and the structure of it,” she says.

“When I started I definitely felt like a minority. In the current team I’m on, out of 20 programmers, I think just six are women.”

The efforts of these organisations are an invaluable first step, but there is still a very long way to go to redress the imbalance. And it would seem that without a dramatic cultural change in the way we see women’s roles in the technology industry, it’s a gender gap that may well be with us for many years to come.

Sources: and 

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