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article imageGirls Who Code announce expansion plans

By Tim Sandle     Feb 5, 2019 in Technology
Girls Who Code is a non-profit working to close the gender gap in technology by teaching young girls computer science. The organization launched in Canada in November 2018 and it now plans to expand further.
Last year Girls Who Code pioneered 19 Clubs, which are free after-school programs designed for girls between the ages of 13 and 18 years old, helping female students to acquire a wide range of computer science skills.
According to Girls Who Code: “Girls engage in fun and simple online coding tutorials, build community through interactive activities, learn about inspiring role models in tech, and work together to design solutions to real-world problems facing their communities.”
Founded in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached more than 90,000 girls across the U.S. The programs aim to empower girls with the confidence, support, network and technical skills they need to enter the technology field.
Following this success, the group aims to to launch across the Canada, with 70 more pending approval. The Clubs will be launching shortly in cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Stouffville, Milton, Mississauga, Pickering, Stratford, London, Saskatoon, Windsor and Whitby.
Closing the gender gap with technology is a pressing issue and unless the pace picks up it will take a long time to achieve parity. With this, a report from McKinsey Global Institute suggests it could take as long as 140 years to close at the current pace within Canada.
This is not only for societal balance; the research indicates that advancing women’s equality in Canada has the potential to add $150 billion in incremental GDP in 2026. This figure is equivalent to adding a new financial services sector to the economy.
In addition to the expansion, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani, has released a new book titled “Brave, Not Perfect”. The book discusses the importance of moving away from teaching girls to be “perfect” and rather teaching them to take chances, make mistakes, and be brave.
According to Saujani, girls tend to be taught to play it safe. This happens through the guidance imparted by parents and teachers who praise young women for being quiet and polite and urging them to be. The problem is, as the book explains, that such ‘perfect girls’ have the habit of growing up to be women who are afraid to fail. This needs to be challenged, and the book provides a blueprint for doing just so.
More about Coding, Canadian, Women in tech, Computers
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