Jenny Salmimäki • 23.10.2015 • Frantic • Reading time 3 min
Our second consecutive code camp was held last week and yet again we are super proud to send 17 girls with mad coding skills back out into the world. While the reasoning behind organizing a girls-only camp is clear to us, we still get questions about why we’ve decided to start the camp in the first place. Here's why.
Less than 1 in 3 people in the tech industry in Finland are women, and the number of women who code is even smaller (see below 1, 2). We need more female perspectives in IT in order for us to create products and services that have been designed and built with also women in mind. Women should not miss out on one of the most powerful ways of making a difference and changing the world. After all, the power of being able to code and create is a power stronger than politics, says Tuuti Piippo, writer and our code camp guest speaker.
In order to achieve this, we need to overcome ancient prejudices towards the industry, and cultivate a continuum of pioneering women in tech. We need to discard the stereotype of a typical programmer. It’s not a lonely job, but rather a team effort. It’s not just about writing code, it’s problem-solving of the highest form.
Thankfully, the industry has gained lift in recent years among the greater public through popular culture (HBO’s Silicon Valley for example), which has undoubtedly paved the way for many tech-savvy youngsters in general. There has also been more and more buzz in the media about women in tech, which has lead some of the industry’s most innovative women into the limelight.
Women need more role models to pave the way and show that it’s possible to succeed in a male-dominated environment. In her book Futuremakers, Tuuti shares the stories of inspiring women in the tech industry and illustrates how tech, creativity, and the will to make a difference can create something absolutely unique and transformational.
Despite the growing bunch of role models for girls and women alike, in my opinion, peer interest and support is even more important. If you’re surrounded by likeminded people who you can identify with, it’s so much easier to delve into a topic together and help each other out.
This is why it’s integral to provide different environments for girls to connect and feel welcome and accepted. I think we’ve succeeded since it was awesome to see how our code campers were eager to help each other and how they made new friends during the week.
We’re proud to be a part of the emerging cultural change in the industry, and we will continue on the path of educating about coding and shedding light on what it really means to be a part of the digital industry. Which, of course, is doing awesome stuff together and making the web (and the world) a better place.
To stay informed about our upcoming code camps and take part in various sweepstakes, be sure to like our camp’s new page on Facebook. Also, if you’re registered to Talentum’s Summa service, go ahead and read an article about our code campers here.
1. Ikä- ja sukupuolijakaumat 2014 - Teknologiateollisuus here