Ladies — let’s bring it back to our coding routes
Did you know the person who wrote the world’s first machine algorithm — hence the first ever programmer — was female?
And did you know that the ENIAC programmers (considered to be the first computer) — hence the first ever computer scientists — were all female too?
Outrageously, for over 50 years these six incredible scientists were mistaken for “Refrigerator Ladies”- pretty faces who posed for photographs with the machines (in fact, the only thing they got right there was that the first computers do look an awful lot like the back of a gigantic refrigerator).
At the birth of the tech industry a high proportion of women held these important roles. Yet today in the UK- where women make up 51% of the population- only 17% of employees in the tech sector are female.
Many studies show that teams with strong gender and race diversity achieve better results and perform better financially. So why is that we’re still struggling with this balance?
I’m one of the ladies to make up the 17% of female techies. Two years ago I decided to move away from my job in architecture to begin a career in programming. And so, barriers to entry in this industry, and what we can do to prevent them, is something I’m very passionate about.
Code First: Girls is a not-for-profit that works hard to help young women access careers in tech through up-skilling them. They offer free coding courses for women to help address the gender imbalance in the tech industry. Courses are tailored to help address some of the learning challenges that women encounter when entering a field that they are new to, and a minority in.
Photo via Getty images