Code Like a Girl is the brainchild of Ally Watson, a developer passionate about increasing the number of females in technology. Drawing from her background and experience really helps her to understand what is relevant to the industry and how to connect with girls so that Code Like a Girl can tailor their events and workshops around this. In the early stages of the initiative she was joined by her colleague and friend Marcellina Mardian whose expertise in marketing and fostering communities helped get the initiative off the ground. Marcellina and Ally share a common goal for Code Like a Girl; to continue to support, share knowledge among the community and hopefully, inspire a change in the tech space too. The duo work alongside a small group of casual volunteers who are on hand to help with setting up and running the events.
Code Like a Girl is an initiative dedicated to providing girls with the tools, knowledge and support to enter and flourish in the world of coding. We create and run a series of tech-focused events and workshops around Melbourne; bringing together tech talents and girls who are passionate about coding and technology to learn, connect and celebrate each other's achievements.
Since our launch in August 2015 we’ve ran 6 events, 2 workshops and have grown an online community with a reach of over 3,000 people.
Our events provide an opportunity for our attendees to be inspired and learn from some of the industry’s experts, experience some of the latest tech gadget, and build their network in a friendly, casual environment. We cover a wide range of topics - from new tech, working culture to creative coding - and feature inspiring profiles from around Australia, including Cyan Ta’ed (Co-Founder of Envato), Giselle Rosman and Katja Forbes to name a few.
To complement our events, Code Like a Girl hosts workshops. Classes are small and designed to allow participants to be able to get a basic grasp of programming or coding and have the chance to create something of their own. Topic and material for the workshops are carefully chosen and developed to be informative and engaging. Workshop materials and tools are usually provided by us to students.
We strive to make our events and workshops to be as accessible as possible to our audience and with the support of sponsors and partners of past events, we have been able to offer our events and workshops for free.
Through our initiative, we hope to spark change in the tech community; inspiring new generations of girls to acquire coding as a skill and encourage more females to step into leadership roles within the industry.
Since launching in August 2015, we have received a very positive response from Melbourne’s tech community, companies and education institutes around Australia, as well as the media including the likes of ABC, The Australian Financial Review, SBS, Harper Bazaar, and Marie Claire.
Our regular events have an average attendance of 60-80 people per event. Our primary audience of attendees are females aged 18-45; primarily university students and working professionals in tech and digital. We have sold-out events and have had waiting lists of over 50 in some of our previous events and workshops.
We also boast a strong social media community base across Facebook, Twitter and Meet-Up, primarily made up of female age 25-34, followed by 13-24. We have 1,500+ Facebook fans and growing, on our Meet-Up channel we have over 750 members and Twitter - 688 followers.
Whilst coding continues to be one of the most important skills to have today, there is a significant talent drought to meet the demand in the industry. In Australia, women account for less than a fifth of the IT workforce. On university-level, enrolment of girls in IT Degrees and dropped from 1 in 4 to 1 in 10 since 2001. Culture, stereotypes and unconscious bias all play a role in this shortage of females and contribute to the gender diversity issue in tech.
Code Like a Girl’s events and workshops aim to help more females feel inspired to get into coding and be more involved in the creation and development of tech, because we know groups with greater diversity solve complex problems better and faster!