• Written by April Rose

24 July 2015: ‘Code Like A Girl’, a digitally led initiative to help inspire and support women in code, launches today in Melbourne Australia.

Founded by Ally Watson, female developer at award-winning digital agency Deepend, Code Like A Girl is an online inspiration network and blog for female coders and women in the wider tech industry.  As part of the ongoing programme of activity, Code Like A Girl will host monthly events and meet-ups, bringing their members together to celebrate and discuss their passions and expertise.  

The inspiration behind setting up the Australian arm of this global initiative, has been Watson’s own experiences in the male-dominated industry over the last five years.  There is an ongoing diversity problem within the technology and development sector, driving two key trends; not enough women are getting into development and when they do, there is a limited long term career path. In 1991 women held 37% of all computing jobs, today they hold just 26%.  56% of women in tech leave at the mid-level point of their career, compared to 17% of men, when the loss of their skills is most costly to companies1.

With numerous initiatives taking place around the globe to encourage women to enter tech, Watson wanted to create a network closer to home; within the creative hub Melbourne where she lives and works.  

Expanding on tech’s gender divide, founder Ally Watson said: “Unconscious bias means that from a young age girls are not exposed to problem solving and electronic based games in the way boys are.  This disparity has led to a greater number of boys being interested in technology and pursuing the sector as a valid education and career path. My core focus for Code Like A Girl is to help likeminded women in the sector grow and support one another, in what can sometimes be a daunting industry for females.“

Coding is one of the most important skills of the 21st century and there is a significant talent drought, the industry needs more computer scientists.  Research indicates that the sector is heading towards a skills crisis; by the year 2020 there will be 1million more jobs than there are people with the skills to fill those jobs.2  

Deepend, Australia’s largest independent digital agency is the primary sponsor and a key driving force behind Code Like A Girl.  Kath Blackham, Managing Director of Deepend and board member of SoDA has offered her full support to the initiative as a mentor.   With a career that has spanned over 15 years at the forefront of the digital industry, Blackham has provided a wealth of knowledge and guidance.

She comments, “As a team made up of digital innovators and technology leaders, the broader Deepend Group and I, are proud to support such an inspirational network. Code Like A Girl provides a central hub to connect and meet with others to network and discuss current trends and issues within the digital industry.  Women are hugely under-utilised when it comes to the sector and have so much to offer. We need to turn the sliding trends of women in technology around and Code Like A Girl is a fantastic way to tackle the problem.”

Deepend are leading the charge with their diversity numbers with female developers working across both their Sydney and Melbourne offices, almost 50% of the technical producer team women.

Code Like A Girl’s official launch event will take place on August 6th

Event: Code Like A Girl launch event
To RSVP: http://www.codelikeagirl.com.au/
Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Date: Thursday 6th August 2015
Location: Deepend Melbourne, 1 Cubitt Street, Cremorne, VIC 3121
Speakers: Ally Watson Founder of Code Like A Girl,  Jo Cranford, Development Team Lead at Culture Amp, Shevaun Coker Senior Developer from Envato, Giselle Rosman Director IGDA Melbourne Chapter, and Johana Foster Vice President for the RMIT Society for Women in Information Technology
Sponsored by Deepend, GitHub, Treehouse

Code Like a Girl Links:

Deepend is proudly part of a four-agency collective, the Deepend Group, an independent, digital communications and innovation consultancy group.  The Deepend Group portfolio includes the leading specialist agencies Deepend (Digital), How To Impact (Innovation), Nomad (Mobile) and History Will Be Kind (PR/Social Media).  

About Deepend Group:
The Deepend Group is an independent, digital communications and innovation consultancy group. Our specialist companies are a new breed of business innovators, fluent in the ever‐changing digital and technology landscape. They analyse, create and measure successful outcomes that transform businesses. Our business portfolio includes:

One of the most established digital marketing & communications agencies in Australia with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. We help businesses succeed with great engineered ideas and innovations, which have people at their heart.

How To Impact
A dedicated innovation agency, operating since 2008 in Australia. Our aim is to raise the bar on the effectiveness of innovation in Australia, by coming up with ideas that stick. We believe that the right process, structure & behaviours can unlock growth and a greater return on innovation investment.

Work with clients & agency partners to create products and solutions for personal devices. This includes apps, mobile websites, tablet development and Smart TV solutions. We do this through a process of exploration, design, development and marketing activity.

History Will Be Kind
A new breed of communications agency, operating at the crossroads of public relations, social media & digital communications. We create stories that people want to share and conversations that you want to be part of, that tap into trends and drive opinion.