In an effort to address the struggles women in tech often face, MigraCode has launched the CodeWomen project, which aims to support and encourage female students to successfully graduate Migracode as junior web developers.

Migracode volunteer and CodeWomen project manager Henriette Hettinga works one-on-one with a student.

The project was started to deal with the difficult position of being a woman in the male-dominated tech world. According to data from the European Commission’s Women in Digital Scoreboard, 46% of women have reported experiences of discrimination in the European tech sector. An Atomico report on The State of European Tech found that out of sample of 175 companies, only one woman held an executive level position.

Additionally, WomenTech Network notes:

  • Seventeen percent of information and communications technology (ICT) specialists are women. 
  • Thirty-four percent of STEM graduates are women.
  • Women in the ICT sector earn 19% less than men.
  • Twenty-two percent of participants in tech-related Meetup events throughout the EU are women.
  • Ninety-three percent of capital invested in tech companies have been to all-male founding teams.

“The women who study at MigraCode work hard to make a career change into tech,” Henriette Hettinga, a MigraCode volunteer instructor who started CodeWomen said. “We all know the tech world is a mostly male world and that can be intimidating. With the CodeWomen project, we hope to give some extra encouragement, through coding together and organizing workshops with women developers and their experiences. The tech world will definitely benefit from the talent these women bring.”

Henriette and two students meet for the first CodeWomen meet up.

Through a combination of monthly workshops, a Slack channel and a WhatsApp group for organizing, sharing materials and asking questions, CodeWomen offers a flexible context for personal support and encouragement.

Workshops are flexible and the women who participate set the agenda. They can come with questions or topics they would like to hear more about or present something themselves.

In general, there will be one or more coding topics explained with hands-on examples to practice. One current idea that is being worked out for students to collaborate on a basic HTML/CSS website. They will build the website as they continue to learn more languages and programs during their studies.

One of the reasons to work as a group is to help the students understand how to collaborate on GitHub in practice, as this is an essential skill for developers. Another idea is to invite professional female programmers to share their experience during a workshop. This will further the mission of giving female students a safe environment to share experiences, plans, ambitions, questions and problems with each other.

The first CodeWomen meeting happened this month.

CodeWomen meets on the first Sunday of the month around 12, or whatever time is the most convenient for everyone. There is no fixed duration for the workshop.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the get-together is restricted to a maximum of 10 people.

Students can join if they want, but it is not an obligation or part of the bootcamp curriculum. 

If you are interested in joining CodeWomen to give a workshop or share your own experiences with our students, feel free to contact us.


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