At Devmountain, we are passionate about entrepreneurship, building, creating and doing. An important issue for us is encouraging women to participate in these activities. Women only make up about 20 percent of the software development industry, but this International Women’s Day, we want to make a movement and raise that percentage. The number is better for coding bootcamp graduates, at 38 percent according to Course Report, however there is still plenty of work to be done to change perceptions.
Women Coders – A study
A recent study by researchers at North Carolina State University and Cal Polytech State University found that women are often just as good if not better coders than men. After looking through 3 million code contributions on Github, they found that code from women was accepted at a slightly higher rate- 78.6 percent vs 74.6 percent for men. This only held true when the GitHub user profiles were not identifiable as male or female.
While women may end up in a position to best their male counterparts at coding, the problem seems to stem from much, much earlier in the learning process.
“Too often I run into women who don’t think they can learn how to code,” said Krissy Weekley, a DevMountain grad and current Head of Student Success. “The truth is there isn’t a significant difference between men and women coders, and women shouldn’t let the mis-perception that men are better coders stand in the way of learning how to code.”
Women bring an important point of view to the development world and should be encouraged to learn these skills.
Creating vs Creativity
Too often creating and creativity are perceived as separate abilities, aligning along gender lines. Men create and women are creative, or so the stereotype goes. Societal norms often imply that men are engineers and women are graphic designers. But why is that distinction made? The reality is the creating and creativity are one in the same- and are only separated by a skills gap, and our interest in gaining those skills.
So if the goal is to increase female participation in software development, we need to do what we can to change interest levels and break perceptions. At DevMountain, we want to increase conversations around women’s participation in tech and entrepreneurship. As part of those efforts, we will be hosting multiple events in March to celebrate International Women’s Appreciation Day.
Events to Celebrate Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship
On March 8th, We have partnered with local entrepreneur Alison Faulkner for a big party to celebrate International Women’s Appreciation Day. For more details on the event, go here.
We have also teamed up with Microsoft for an event celebrating women on March 30th. Rachel Nilsson, who recently appeared on Shark Tank and successfully secured money from the Sharks will discuss women in entrepreneurship at the event. Here’s the link to the event page.
We’d love to have you attend these events, and if you’re a woman who is trying to decide if a coding career is right for you, please contact us. We’d love to convince you it is.