The Girl Code – A Unique Initiative to Bring More Women Into Coding
A few days ago, we came across a very unique and relevant initiative – The Girl Code, a Delhi and Singapore Based Non Profit Organization, founded by two 16 year old girls from New Delhi (Japnit K. Ahuja and Samriddhi Agnihotri), with the aim to introduce young girls to programming.
The two girls noticed a huge gap in the number of female programmers around the world (only 11%), and also that the IT industry by nature is male-dominated. This has led to the creation of a false myth that women aren’t equipped with skills to code. The Girl Code aims to break these myths, by conducting workshops in schools.
The organisation held its first workshop at The Mother’s international School on January 2, 2018. Over 50 girls –ranging from 7 to 16 years in age–attended. The girls began the workshop with no prior knowledge on programming; by the end, they had all constructed a game using scratch and were proficient in Python. A few weeks post the workshop, two participants had joined the school’s computing club, Minet, and another had cleared a Cyber Olympiad. After their success at MIS, TGC now plans to host summer workshops at several schools in Delhi and Singapore. The organisation has also launched a video campaign titled, “Code with Confidence” wherein female programmers from around the world share their programming origins and journey in order to inspire young girls.
According to the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, women now account for 53% of the world’s bachelor’s and master’s graduates and 43% of PhDs but just 28% of researchers. Whereas women have achieved parity in life sciences in many countries, they still trail men in engineering and computer sciences.
When we speak of gender equality, it is important that all domains of social, professional and individual life are addressed. More women in science and computing are an essential aspect of nation building, and it is heart warming to see young girls take the initiative to make this a reality. It is such efforts which need to be applauded and recognized, along with encouragement being offered from the government.