Women may make up only a small percentage of coders now, but that will change in the years to come with the concentrated efforts to increase young ladies’ interest in and accessibility to science, technology, engineering and math fields.
There are numerous benefits to volunteering, so consider getting involved in one of these programs that are shaping the future of the tech industry:
Girls who Code is a relatively new program that was launched in 2012. Geared toward high school girls, this non-profit organization works to encourage young women to pursue a career in coding. Their Summer Immersion Program consists of seven weeks of intense instruction in a number of tech topics aside from coding, including robotics, algorithms and web design.
This program is primarily aimed toward girls of color ages seven to 17. The goal is to expose them to computer science and motive them to pursue technological careers. They offer workshops and after school programs in underrepresented communities in the San Francisco Bay area. In offering these programs, they hope to reach girls who are still trying to determine what they would like to be when they grow up, and encourage them to bridge the digital divide.
Code for Fun offers after-school programs and camps all over the San Francisco Bay Area. The curriculum introduces elementary and middle school-aged children to computer programming concepts that enable them to build their own game and continue updating their work as their skills progress. The program is designed to be co-ed as volunteers teach programming basics at the school, where students have full access to computers and programming tools.
Every year, Astra calls for entrepreneurial young women, grades 8-12, with an interest in S.T.E.A.M. subjects who also demonstrate leadership at school and within their communities. These young women become Founders of the Inaugural Summit and work with their peers in teams to develop their own business ideas and to compete for a college scholarship from Microsoft. This merit-based Inaugural Summit connects participants with women in S.T.E.A.M. careers and Astra's dynamic Women Business Entrepreneur (WBE) Network. Girls who have completed this program also have the opportunity to meet business leaders offering internships.
The S.T.E.A.M Summit and Code for Fun are especially close to Akraya’s heart, as we are partners in their programs. These are but a few of the available programs out there dedicated to increasing the number of women in coding.
Volunteer work looks excellent on your resume and passion sets you apart from the competition when interviewing for a job, so look for ways to contribute to the next generation of coders.