Though we are finally starting to see a small shift, there’s no denying that many women shy away from entering the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) industries.
Don’t believe me? Check out these startling statistics about women in the tech world:
- Women own only 5% of startups
- 11% of executive positions in Silicon Valley belong to women
- Only 25% of computing jobs are held by women
- A mere 3% of women claim that a career in technology was their first choice
And this is just the beginning.
But the thing is, women tend to be better developers than men. A 2016 study of more than 3 million Github pull requests showed that 79% of women’s pull requests were accepted, with men’s following at 74.6% – but only when gender was not revealed.
This study goes on to state that gender bias does exist in open-source programming because when gender was identifiable on a user’s public profile, the number of rejections for women increased significantly.
Though I’m not claiming to be an expert on gender bias, nor am I looking to provide a list of reasons why women aren’t as prevalent in the tech world, I am saying there’s a definite imbalance. After all, the numbers don’t lie.
But that can change by giving women more opportunities to join the tech world and succeed like their male counterparts. In fact, any woman wanting to learn how to code can nowadays, so long as she knows where to go to hone her skills.
Whether you’re a woman wanting to make a career change, or a young girl looking to learn a few coding skills, I have got you covered. Take a look at this amazing roundup of resources designed to help woman break the barriers and enter the tech world at any capacity they want.
To make things easier on you. I have broken each resource into distinct categories so you can find just what you’re looking for.
On Site Training
Ada Developers Academy is an advanced and highly selective training program located in Seattle, Washington that caters to women and gender diverse people that want to become software developers.
74% of young girls express interest in STEM fields and computer science. And yet, when it comes time to decide what to study and which career to choose, something happens and many choose a different path. Girls Who Code was designed to break that cycle and give young girls the skills and confidence to move forward with their tech careers.
They offer after school clubs for girls as young as elementary school, so they can begin to learn the basics and develop a love for coding. For middle and high school girls there are specialized summer camps that teach coding and expose girls to potential tech jobs they may be interested in.
In an effort to help women become great programmers, Hackbright Academy offers a 12 week accelerated training course that involves both traditional in-class coursework and individual project work for a thorough understanding of software engineering.
MotherCoders is a nonprofit organization designed to help moms break into the tech world so they can establish solid careers for themselves. Through a part-time, 9-week training program (complete with on-site childcare), MotherCoders aims to help those that struggling to access educational programs re-enter the workforce, advance their careers, or accelerate a startup.
Girl Develop It is another nonprofit organization spanning 62 cities in the United States that provides affordable ways for women to learn web and software development. With in-person classes and community support, Girl Develop It hopes to empower women with the confidence to build their own web and mobile applications.
At Skillcrush you take specific online classes based on what you want to learn. For example, learn web development, advanced WordPress, web design, data analytics, and even copywriting for the internet.
Though not limited to just coding for women (about 25% of students are male), the training programs were designed to help women break into the industry of their dreams.
2. Rails Girls
Rails Girls is an online resource for women looking to learn more about technology and how to build their ideas. Learn basic programming, sketching, and prototyping. Plus, access online web guides, materials, and tools to help you get your ideas off the ground, and event information so you can meet likeminded women wanting to break into the tech world.
Finding coding tutorials on the internet is as simple as running a quick Google search. That said, I’ve made things a little easier on you by sharing some tutorials with you so you don’t have to scour the web yourself:
Are you looking for a few tutorials to help you with your CSS skills? Tripwire has rounded up some of the most helpful CSS tutorials around so you can work on the styling and layouts of your webpages. Each tutorial is specific in nature, so just find the one that suits your needs and check it out.
5. Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers people who want to learn how to code step-by-step video tutorials on how to program drawings, animations, and games. Or, you can learn how to create webpages using HTML and CSS.
1. Slack Channels for Women in the Tech World
If you’re familiar with the communication tool Slack, and want to connect with other women in the field of technology, look into joining any number of these popular Slack channels:
- Women in Technology: boasting over 800 members, and welcoming anyone regardless of skill level, you can talk with other women that write code, test software, design graphics, and more.
- #FemaleFounders: connect with new, established, and aspiring tech company founders to share ideas and find solutions to problems. Learning from each other entrepreneurs makes maneuvering the tricky and sometimes lonely tech world easier – especially as a woman.
- Women Techmakers: Divided into three teams: early career, mid-level career, and established career, this Slack channel will connect you with likeminded people as well as inform you about upcoming events and resources to help advance your career.
2. Female Founder Podcasts
Check out this roundup of some of the best podcasts for women looking to break the mold and become founders of their own startups:
- Startup School Radio by Y Combinator: learn from past founders or investors about things like starting, funding, and scaling your own company.
- Girlboss Radio: each podcast is an interview with a successful woman who has made her mark in the business world. Find out how they made it and what they learned along the way.
- She Did It Her Way with Amanda Boleyn: hear about top women entrepreneurs and how they did things their own way.
- SheNomads: if you’re wanting to get into the tech world, work remotely, and travel the world, this is the podcast for you.
- The MADWomen Podcast by Women in Wireless: this podcast focuses on women in the mobile and digital worlds. Learn about exceptional female leaders, find out what it takes to be successful, and empower yourself to take control of your own life despite the odds.
3. Video Playlists for Women Coders
If you would rather watch video content, as opposed to written text, check out this list of helpful video playlists designed to help you with all your coding needs:
- CodePath: software engineering is an ever-changing industry, which means if you’re just starting out, it can be tough to keep up. Find mentors, learn new skills, and discover projects that make honing your coding skills easier and more fun.
- WomenWhoCode: this nonprofit playlist of videos helps to inspire women to excel in their tech careers. With over 50,000 members across 20 countries (and boasting 3,000+ worldwide events), this is the place to be if you need a little bit of confidence and a whole lot of knowledge.
- Coding Blonde: the creator behind Coding Blond started this YouTube channel at a time when she was learning to code and found it to be intimidating thanks to all the stereotypes.
There are so many communities across the globe connecting women in the tech world that want to learn from others. Here are a few of the very best to get you started:
1. Facebook Groups
This Facebook group is for anyone identifying as a woman that wants to talk tech. It aims to show people that they can achieve their dreams no matter what obstacles lay ahead, and even connects you to their podcast Women in Tech.
Find out the latest happenings in the tech world and join the conversations with your own stories too. Plus, find out about any upcoming events Global tech Women is hosting so you can attend and advance your tech career.
2. Twitter Lists and Chats
Check out fempire for a comprehensive list of women around the world in the tech industry you should follow. In addition, Women in Tech Chat is a great source for inspiration, idea sharing, and chatting.
Want a list of hashtags for Twitter or Instagram? Girl Knows Tech does a great job of rounding up the most used hashtags for women in the world of technology.
Here are some of my favorites:
Of course, this is just a start. But finding other women in the tech world to follow you (and vice versa) is the greatest way to build a community of your own you can rely on for problem-solving, inspiration, and sharing of new ideas.
If you like to attend events to network with others in the tech field, check these out the next time you want to take a work trip:
- Grace Hopper Celebration: join the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Sign up as a speaker or volunteer, or just attend and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Gender Summit: this summit is dedicated to finding out why gender bias exists in the science and technology worlds, and how to overcome it.
- Tapia Conference: this conference’s goal is to promote and celebrate diversity in computing. It seeks to recognize diversity exists, connect people and create communities that extend beyond the conference, get advice from leading professionals in the industry, and be inspired by the success of others.
- Women Startup Challenge: if your startup is in need of funding, attend a Women Startup Challenge and pitch your idea to see if someone is willing to fund what you have to offer.
In the end, there are many resources available to women that want to learn how to code. From in-class training programs to online courses, video content and podcasts to events and community groups, there’s no nothing out there that can stop you from entering the tech world and achieving your dreams.
Don’t let stereotypes and gender bias stall your life. Take control, make a plan, and follow through. The world needs more women coders.
So, if you have the drive and ambition to enter the technology industry, check out these resources and start right away. If anything, you might inspire more women to follow.