Please indicate if your Initiative is an Established Initiative.
Muses Code JS (former NodeGirls)
Team - who worked on the project/initaitve
Tanya Butenko (Australia wide),
Ticiana Andrade (Sydney),
Reena Rajani (Sydney),
Shaila Man (Sydney),
Ridhi Shad (Sydney),
Julia Kuznetcova (Sydney),
Anwesha Chatterjee (Brisbane),
Sammy Herbert (Brisbane),
Valeria de Goede (Melbourne),
Veronica Munro (Melbourne),
Rachael Goodenough (Perth),
Donna Edwards (Perth)
NodeGirls Public Relations
Founder and Director
Overview - Provide a summary to introduce the project or initiative
We aim to create a safe and friendly environment for them to learn how to code, learn about programming and improve their knowledge in coding.
Even though we have seen some progress, women continue to be underrepresented in the tech industry. Women often feel that societal pressure and cultural norms work against them while seeking employment and advancement in tech careers. Regardless of whether they have equal or superior skills to their male colleagues.
Our main goals:
- Increase the number of women in STEM (programming specifically)
- Increase the visibility of women developers on Australian stage
- Improve confidence of women already working in IT
- Introduce more women to coding
- Increase men’s awareness of what difficulties women may experience while working in this field
How would you say diversity is embraced within your organisation or sector? Are there diversity initiatives in place or are diversity approaches new to your sector?
Australia is a leader for women in tech with 31% women in IT roles(Davidson Technology diversity report - https://goo.gl/qz6XS3), but is still lacking female programmers. Only 21% of its computer science students are female.
Sadly, the number of school students choosing to study STEM has gone down 94% in 20 years(Malcolm Turnbull on STEM learning - https://goo.gl/enQzz6), prompting fears that the country is going backwards.
There is a bunch of diversity programs in IT sector, but all of them are of the same type - She loves Data, Women Who Code etc.
A new approaches comes from organisations as Work180, TechGirlsMovement etc.
Detail the approach that was taken to implement the project or initiative, what actions were taken and why?
- We run coding workshops to introduce coding to IT gender minorities in a fun way (Most of women think that coding is boring and dry and suits guys who works in their mom's basements - but we know it is not like that anymore and coding can be fun and anyone can adopt it as a hobby)
- We provide women with information about different educational resources in order to give them an opportunity to continue self-education in programming in their free time. (Because majority of people does not know about free online educational resources in CS field)
- We organise soft-skills workshops and panels to help women gain more confidence working in male dominated industry. (Lack of confidence is the main problem women are facing in IT industry, they less likely will stand for promotion, pay gap is still on the plate. Women less likely do public speaking and become visible)
- We partner with organizations to get internship positions for women who does not have any formal CS degree, giving them an opportunity to get into IT world and acquire real life skills. (It gives opportunity for our less-fortunate attendees to change their social status as not everyone can go to uni or college due to lack of money)
Demonstrate the leadership shown in driving the initiative and fostering behavioural and organisational change.
Our initiative is very successful and it leads the niche we are taking in IT world, it can be easily tracked by amount of followers we gain only in 2 years term - starting in Sydney with the only organiser Tanya Butenko nowadays we grew into country wide community that operates in 4 states and have around 20 people in core team, almost 500 mentors - highly skilled specialists who help on our coding events, with 5k+ followers and international fame.
Our innovative approach on how we hold our events helped us to become a leader and help other organisations to come closer to their diversity ratio goals. For example, one of big tech meetups known as NodeSydney used to have less then 1% of female attendees, now we helped them to raise the numbers to 10-15%.
We help in promotion of IT courses for women in such academies as GeneralAssembly and CoderAcademy - since our cooperation time number of female applicants has grown significantly.
Our approach is unique and our Founder Tanya Butenko is being invited to international events asuch as NodeSummit (23-27th July in San Francisco) to talk about it - NodeGirls or how communities change people. Our organisers are getting Digital Championships awards in states for outstanding work - isn't that a prove of being a leader in our activities.
Was there organisational/industry or other resistance to the initiative? If so, detail the actions taken to overcome resistance to the project or initiative.
So far all everyone was very supportive and we had no problems in past 2 years.
Detail the follow up or response to the project or initiative by the organisation /industry /sector. For example has it been extended for a further year, or has the scope been expanded?
Interest in Muses Code JS (former NodeGirls) events does not decrease over time and we constantly get overbooked events (each big event has 150+ registrations). So we continued working next year and do not plan to stop.
At the same time scope of work was expanded, as demand is growing and we always collect feedback from our community. We started a set of new events, such as - coding dojo - a live coding sessions which comment in a group. This events give opportunity to maximize practice coding time and practice team work. Also internship program was an extension as we didn't plan on it in the first year of operation.
Other cities expansion
Please provide 2 references being the beneficiaries or people that experienced the change (as a result of the initiative). Details to be provided should include:
4. Phone number
6. Short description (up to 250 words) of association with the nominated diversity initiative eg as a beneficiary, experiencing the outcome, etc.
- Jaydn Chou
- Arbor Networks
- +61433 317 706
- Software engineer
- After attending NodeGirls coding workshop in Sydney Jaydn got interest in coding and started coding as a hobby. She continued attending coding events hold by other organizations and NodeGirls as well. In 2017 we connected with few IT companies to get paid interns positions for women who has no IT formal education in order to improve gender diversity in the industry and give opportunity for interns to get real world experience working in tech world. Jaydn was one of the woman who got the internship position in September 2017 at Arbor Networks - security division of NETSCOUT. After 3 month of internship, program were extended for another 3 month and on 2018 before Easter she got a job offer as a software engineer. NodeGirls changed Jaydn's life completely and gave her opportunity not only immerse into tech, find out that coding is ok for women, get new friends and connections in great IT Sydney community, but also, improve her income and secure her future.
- Prae Gopalakrishnan
- Arbor Networks, currently moved to Sweden and settling down
- Software engineer
- Very similar story to Jaydn, as they started at the same time internship in Arbor Networks. Prae's background is teaching and she is a mom of 2 kids. She got interested in coding after attending one of NodeGirls first workshops in Sydney and after some time got the opportunity to become an intern. In April 2018 her family decided to move from Australia and they went for a travel before settling down in Sweden, now Prae is back to coding and looking for her new company at new new home place.
- Anwesha Chatterjee
- REA group
- WEB Developer
- In 2017 Anwesha was a junior developer who recently started her career in IT and she heard about NodeGirls events in Sydney and Melbourne. She thought it is a great initiative and would be great to attend those events, but it was nothing in Brisbane like that and she contacted Tanya - NG founder. After some talks with her she decided on starting a new chapter in Brisbane. It helped hew significantly in gaining organisational experience, coding experience, confidence and public speaking practice. She got Queensland Community Champion Award in 2018 and got a very prestigious work in REA group in Melbourne.
What outcomes have been achieved against overall program or organisational performance? Using metrics specify these outcomes, for example financial, growth, policy achievement, performance or capabciltiy uplift?
Increase number of women on local meetups and conferences observed in Sydney. For example NodeSydney (from 1% female attendees to 10-15%), SydJS (from 5% to 15%). CoderAcademy and generalAssembly computer courses (from 25% to 40%).
We can list a some names of women who changed their career and already became a software engineers - Karen Geerts, Jaydn Chou, Prae Gopalakrishnan, Shaila Man, Leah Cerinich and list can be continued.
What do you consider your significant achievement with this Initiative and why?
Our biggest achievement are all those women whom we helped. We change people's life and it is a biggest award for us. Seeing them coming to us and telling their story makes it clear that we are on the right way!
Women who changed their lives and stepped into IT world - Karen Geerts, Jaydn Chou, Prae Gopalakrishnan, Shaila Man, Leah Cerinich and few others.
Women who grow in their industry - Ticiana Andrade, Reena Rajani, Anwesha Chatterjee, Tya Cao, Inga Pflaumer, Alex Green, Jen Hilton and dozens of other women across Australia.
Who inspires you from a diversity perspective? Who provides leadership in diversity and why?
Work180 - the work they are doing is amazing, they actively support women's right at working place in all industries, we support each other in this.
Tech Girls Movement and their yearly initiative Superhero Daughter Day inspires us in the way how we make tech things fun and accessible to our audience, we actively collaborate with them and support in all ways.