When girls build, they are creating something for their community. In this computerised economy, teaching girls the skills to navigate the digital landscape can have profound effects on our economic future.
Coding is an increasingly important skill to have in the workplace. A growing number of permanent jobs that use information technology rely on coding skills. As we move toward a more digitalised world, understanding computer language will be just as important as reading and numeracy. Coding combines logic, mathematics and algorithms, and helps to uncover a new way to look at the world. When you know how to code, you can create virtual worlds where the only limit to what is possible is your imagination.
Organisations such as Code Like A Girl, Girls Who Code and Code For Cape Town (Code4CT) all aim to teach girls coding, from web development to basic web design principles. These programs empower women to use technology to innovate and create greater diversity in the tech community.
In Code4CT’s “Why I Code” series, Tracy used the coding skills she learnt to build an app that addresses the health-related problems that pregnant women face in South Africa. “I realised that coding could help me to logically address issues which interest me… and to find solutions to some of the problems we face in our country today”, she says.
In Australia, the Department of Employment predicts a 12.8% increase in demand for technology professions by the end of 2018. There is also a rise in new job categories as new roles emerge. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing sectors in our economy, with the highest demand for entry-level skills. However, a report by Deloitte claims that women make up less than 20% of the Australian ICT workforce. The lack of female representation at senior levels is even greater, with women occupying a very small percentage of leadership roles.
According to Kaylene O’Brien, Senior Technology Partner at Deloitte; “there’s a huge future for women in IT. Good employers have realised that a diverse workforce is to their benefit and that the value of a diverse workforce is realised by cultivating a culture of inclusion.”
Learning to code can broaden perspectives about career opportunities for girls and shows them that the ICT industry offers many interesting career paths with the opportunity to make significant social impact. By teaching girls to code we can change the world.
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