10 Coding Organizations Taking On the Tech Gender Gap
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Study after study has shown that having more women and greater diversity in an industry is positive on every scale. Firms with more women, especially in C-suite or management positions, see higher profits and more creativity. Yet, a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review in 2016 found that out of a survey of nearly 22,000 firms, almost 60% had no women board members, and around 50% had no women C-suite executives. A lack of diversity is a problem in many industries, but the tech industry has earned a reputation for being one of the worst. While there was a slight improvement in the last years, the World Economic Forum found that the pandemic caused another hit to women in tech.
Source: Harvard Business Review
Over the last few years, several organizations worldwide have taken steps to remedy this imbalance. Some offer training programs, mentorships, or even supportive communities to help women succeed in an industry that might sometimes feel unwelcoming to them — and that is sometimes outright abusive. Below, we list 10 of the organizations that fight against the gender disparity in tech.
Coding Organizations for Women in Tech
ChickTech has two programs, one for high school students and one for adult professionals.
ChickTech High School is a year-long series of events, workshops, mentoring, and networking opportunities that help women and other marginalized genders gain more experience in STEM subjects. Past workshops include robotics, soft circuits, smartphone app development, and 3D printing.
For women and nonbinary folks already in the job market, ChickTech membership offers a supportive network of conferences, career coaching, and a job board.
Coding Black Females
Coding Black Females is a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages Black women developers. Members can access various free training programs, events, giveaways, and mentorship programs. Coding Black Females also produces different kinds of content, including a podcast, a YouTube channel, and a blog, so members can engage and learn from their community better.
They also run the #VisibleInTech campaign to spotlight and celebrate one of the most underrepresented demographics in tech.
Coding Bootcamps for You
COFFEE & CODED
COFFEE & CODED is specifically for women living in New York City. They partner with coworking spaces, corporate sponsors, and community organizations to host skill-based monthly meetings and workshops focusing on coding, design, and entrepreneurship.
In addition to encouraging girls and women to learn how to code, COFFEE & CODED specifically aims to help encourage women to become successful entrepreneurs.
Django Girls provides free, one-day programming workshops in Python and Django, where women learn how to build their first web application. To date, they have organized workshops in 562 cities in 104 countries. Volunteers run their entire program, so if there are no events in your city, you can create your own. The organization provides all the resources and materials needed to create your own Django Girls community.
They also provide free learning resources in 20 different coding languages.
Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It helps women and nonbinary adults learn software development skills through classes, projects, and events. There are both virtual and in-person events in Chicago, the District of Columbia, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York City. They offer shorter intro courses (two hours long) and more intensive courses (12 hours long).
Some courses focus on technical skills, while others are more career-focused, helping women and nonbinary people build their technical resumes and further their careers.
Girls in Tech
Girls in Tech is a worldwide nonprofit with over 50 chapters on nearly every continent. They host both in-person and online bootcamps and workshops. Some are quick, one-hour intro classes, while others are six-week intensive courses. Then students can use their skills to solve real-world problems in one of the many Girls in Tech Virtual Hackathons.
They also provide worldwide mentorship and a job board to help bridge the gender gap in tech hires.
Lesbians Who Tech
Lesbians Who Tech is for LGBTQ+ women, nonbinary and trans individuals, and everyone who supports them. One of their most considerable contributions is offering scholarships to some of the most prominent coding bootcamps like CareerFoundry, Coding Dojo, and Designlab. Most scholarships cover 50% of the total cost, with a few options covering up to 100%.
They also host an annual Lesbians Who Tech & Allies Summit in San Francisco.
MotherCoders offers Saturday or weekday classes with on-site child care.
Rails Girls teaches women worldwide sketching, prototyping, and basic programming skills. They focus primarily on Ruby on Rails, a development tool that provides a framework for writing code.
They offer some online courses and workshops, but more than anything, Rails Girls is a community that supports and encourages women in tech-related fields. They host events with speakers who use Ruby on Rails in their everyday careers to encourage more women to enter the tech industry.
Women Who Code
Women Who Code offers programs and services to help women enter and excel in tech careers. They offer online tutorials, articles, and videos and provide leadership opportunities, a job board, and a global community and support network.
They also give out $1,000,000 in scholarships and free or discounted conference tickets yearly. There are meet-ups and events in 85 different countries worldwide, making them one of the larger and most culturally diverse communities.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coding Organizations for Women
What percentage of coders are women?
According to the global statistics website, Statista, women make up only 5% of coders online. When it comes to nonbinary or gender non-conforming people, that number is only 1.7%. This is why organizations like the ones above are trying to open the door for more diversity in the sector.
After all, studies have proven that more diversity in a sector enhances creativity, encourages the search for novel information, and can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving. Having a diverse workforce helps improve the company's bottom line and the lives of those working there.
Are there coding bootcamps for women?
A number of the organizations above host workshops that are only for women or non-binary people. However, if you are looking for a full bootcamp program, you can check out programs from AllWomen, Kal Academy, or SheCodes.
There are many other organizations for women. It mostly depends on what kind of bootcamp you are looking for and what you want to learn. Some of the big bootcamp programs that are not women-only will sometimes offer scholarships for women or other non-represented participants, so it is a good idea to look around and check out all of your options.
How can I support women in the tech industry?
There are several ways you can support women in the tech industry, depending on your circumstances.
Of course, donating to any of the groups is always an easy way to help support those trying to create substantial change. Many of them are also constantly trying to expand, so if you live in a city where a meet-up does not already exist, you can start your own chapter.
If you work in tech yourself, especially if you are higher up in your career, you can advocate for more diversity in your hires or offer mentorship to those just starting out. Leaders can also shift organizational policies and improve benefits.
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