10 August 2015: ‘Code Like A Girl’, a digitally led initiative to help inspire and support women in code, hosted their official launch event in Melbourne Australia.
During the event, an industry panel of female tech leaders discussed key topics including, solutions to tech’s ongoing gender divide, how we can help women currently in or pursuing careers in the tech industry, and what they want the future to look like.
Hosted by Kath Blackham, Managing Director of Deepend, the events speaker panel comprised:
Ally Watson, Developer at Deepend and Founder of Code Like A Girl
Giselle Rosman Director IGDA Melbourne Chapter
Jo Cranford, Development Team Lead at Culture Amp
Shevaun Coker, Senior Developer from Envato
Johana Foster, Vice President for the RMIT Society for Women in Information Technology
Helping Women Currently In The Industry:Networking is critically important for women across all industries, but especially tech where they are in the minority.
Culturally, women have a tendency to talk themselves down. When discussing this imbalance of confidence, Giselle Rosman enthused females in tech need to realise “you’re good at what you do and you deserve to be here.”
Rosman advised female students and women looking to get into the industry highlighting the importance to “put yourself out there, network and showcase your work.” She emphasised that when starting out, “you don’t have to be employed or paid to build something. You can get the experience needed to apply for jobs by making, building and publishing yourself!”
Solutions To The Gender Divide:Jo Cranford emphasised the need for more female tech workers in senior positions “More women are needed in senior leadership for diversity to happen the whole way down [the management chain]. Many companies are desperate to address the issue of tech’s diversity problem, and are aware of the benefits of a diverse team, yet there is still an ongoing problem. It was highlighted by the panel that it is important to remember that men are also part of the solution; it’s not the 1% of women who are going to have all the answers so it is important we work together as an industry to drive this change.
Johana Foster advised that this culture change begins not in the office, but in learning environments; stating it’s important to have lecturers and teachers that don’t discount your thoughts and opinions because you’re female.
Giselle expanded the need to bring code classes into the curriculum at Primary School level for all students, and it should be taught as something everyone should know, concluding “code is not maths, code is not science, code is a language and a language that is universal. Framing coding as a language can help the barriers for girls who think they're not good at maths or science.”
What They Want The Future To Look Like:
Ally Watson: “It’s not hard, it’s more accessible.”
Giselle Rosman: “When diversity is normalised and I no longer have to talk about being a woman in games.”
Shevaun Coker: “I can’t wait for the day when there’s no stereotype for programmers; anyone can do it.”
Johanna Foster: “It’ll be a good time when you don’t hear “you’re not bad for a woman”“
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.
The evening began with Watson discussing why she created 'Code Like a Girl' and what her motivations were behind the events and how she plans on inspiring the coding girls of tomorrow and support the ones of today.
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.
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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.
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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.