Is the growing coding trend another example of sexism in tech world?

by | Dec 11, 2015 | Biz/Tech

Hailey DeWitt Williams
Biz/Tech reporter

Coding is deemed the must-have job skill of the future, although the question remains if women will be a significant part of that wave.

Writing code makes it possible to create computer software, apps, websites, video games, and much more. It is a useful skill for programmers, developers, computer scientists, engineers, and many other technology-driven professions, including hackers.

“Coding is becoming a skill similar to writing,” said David Neumann, program coordinator of Web Design and Interactive Media. “Everyone should know how to do it, but not everyone will become a professional writer.”

Technology moves society forward in more ways than one, yet it still remains a male-dominated industry. The question isn’t simply why women aren’t as involved in tech as they used to be, but how can the tech industry make itself more fair and open to women.

A study done by the American Association of University Women projected that by 2018, science, engineering and computer-related jobs will grow faster than the average rate for all occupations. It showed that these are fields in which women hold one-quarter or fewer of the total positions.

The study showed 26 per cent of computing jobs in the U.S. are held by women, down from 35 per cent in 1990.

Girls Who Code offers programs that teach computer science education to girls in Grades 6 and 12. The programs work to close the gender gap in technology and engineering sectors by providing girls with the skills to pursue 21st Century opportunities. The programs aim to prepare kids for life and work in a world shaped by digital technologies.

“Having the ability to understand code is a literacy that will be required as we continue to incorporate technology into our lives,” said Neumann.

Ladies Learning Code and Girls Who Code are working to demolish the stereotype that technology based professions are just for boys. They are trying to increase the number of women in tech by creating a space that is inclusive for females.

“It is always important to reach out to groups who may be marginalized for any reason. Technology, similar to all other areas needs a diversity to help develop solutions for a diverse society,” said Neumann.

“Having a place like LLC or GWC is a great way to introduce coding to a group that might not feel comfortable,” he said.