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DLG Digital supports Code First: Girls

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If you work in tech, the chances are that when you look around the office you’re going to see many more men than you do women.

In 2014 the gender imbalance in the tech industry saw a staggering 83% of roles filled by men, and this is where Code First: Girls is aiming to make a difference.

Code First: Girls is a not-for-profit social enterprise set up in 2013. Since its inception, Code First: Girls has delivered £2.5 million worth of free education to young women across the UK, all with one goal in mind: to increase the number of women in tech.

Code First: Girls tackles gender diversity in tech by doing three things:

  1. It supports young adult and working-age women to develop technical skills in coding and programming, plus personal skills.
  2. Creates a community of talented, like-minded women and companies, offering support through their professional development.
  3. Helps companies train their staff, recruit new staff, and develop talent management so that great female tech talent isn’t ignored.

DLG Digital recently got involved as a sponsor for CF: G Annual Conference 2017, staged at Twitter's London HQ.

This year's conference included talks and workshops on artificial intelligence, drones, the programming language 'Go' and the 'On Demand' economy.

Chloë at the careers fair

Digital operations manager Chloë Hayward represented DLG Digital at the careers fair, which included giving a two-minute pitch on why working here is so great.

"We discovered Code First: Girls in 2016. We wanted to get involved as soon as we read about the work they were doing in the girls in tech space," explained Chloë.

Chloë continued: "There's a huge talent gap in the digital/tech world - the demand for these skills far outweighs the supply. The number of girls taking STEM subjects is low, meaning there’s an obvious opportunity here to help fill the talent gap.

"What Code First: Girls does is not only create opportunities for girls to learn and develop programming skills, but also creates an awesome network for these individuals to share their experiences and support each other."

Joining Chloë was UI developer Angeliki Spiliotopoulou who absorbed all kinds of knowledge from the various keynotes, workshops and talks which took place on the day.

Angeliki was kind enough to share some of her thoughts on the event.

Why did you attend CF: G Annual Conference 2017?

My hope was to meet like-minded people who are passionate about programming. I also wished to understand the common struggles and difficulties women from various backgrounds and ages deal with in the field of IT.

Tell me a few things you gained/learned from CF: G Annual Conference 2017 

One takeaway from the conference for me was that when women set their minds to achieve a goal, there is nothing which can stop them.

Moreover, I met two women (one from Italy and the other Canada) who relocated to England in 2015 - the same year that I did. To my great surprise, I found out that we’ve each overcome the same difficulties and challenges.

Why do you feel Code First: Girls is so important?

Women in IT are rare, and the ones who are really passionate and enthusiastic about programming are even scarcer.

I firmly believe, both as a woman and as a programmer who loves and cares about programming, that we need to enthusiastically support any community that encourages women to follow their passion in the field of IT. The stronger our support in communities like this, the more we can tap into the hidden female gems and great potential that could change our world for the better.

What would you say to girls thinking about getting into coding? 

Due to the fast-paced evolution of programming, anyone considering a career in this field must be prepared to continue learning new skills. This may require private learning or taking up any work-based training opportunities.

More often than not, a programmer works as a member of a team filled with people of different backgrounds and expertise. A programmer should therefore learn how to simplify and explain what they do in layman's terms.

Last but certainly not least, passion and love for development can ultimately turn a 'caterpillar' developer into a 'butterfly' developer - a developer that can make a real difference.

For more on Code First: Girls be sure to check out its website, where you’ll find details on courses and conferences.

Check out the DLG Digital careers page for our latest employment opportunities.