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IWD 2024: Coding isn't just for boys
Fri, 8th Mar 2024

Coding isn’t just for boys. As a lead front-end engineer at Airtime Rewards, I spend my days writing code and managing a team of developers. The sector is very male-dominated though, and International Women’s Day opens up the conversation around diversity and investment in female talent. Not only do women play a hugely important role in empowering new talent to join the industry and closing the gender gap, but they also have critical skills that serve the sector and power product innovation. 

In the tech industry, diversity is a huge challenge. Currently, only a quarter of the workforce are women, and estimates indicate that by 2025, women will only fill one in every 115 tech roles. It is evident that change is needed, and a huge role that I can play is debunking the myths and attracting more female talent into the industry. 

Coding is not all about maths
Contrary to popular belief, coding isn't just about numbers; it's a multifaceted field where mathematics know-how isn't a necessary skill. Coding is like learning a language, where the more you practise, the more streamlined it becomes. You can learn, apply your learnings to build new levels and adopt new skills along the way. It's about problem-solving, creativity, and building solutions - and over time it becomes easier. 

You don’t need specific qualifications
Another common misconception is that you need a computer science degree to code. While a degree in this area might give you some helpful foundational skills, it isn’t always necessary and many successful programmers are self-taught, or have learnt through online courses, mentorship, or practical experience. I studied Film and Media and now I’m in a lead front-end role!

Coders don’t know everything about coding
We also hear from young talent that coders ‘need to know everything’, but this simply is not true. The tech industry is vast and constantly evolving. It’s virtually impossible to know everything about it. Instead, coders often specialise in specific areas and continuously learn and adapt as new tools emerge. Personally, I am an expert in React Native - a framework used to build mobile apps.

Empowering young women to join the coding community is integral to its future growth and success. Coding isn't just solitary work; it thrives on teamwork and women bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table, leading to more innovative solutions and products. 

Attracting more women into the field will also help us do a better job of reflecting User Diversity. As technology increasingly shapes various aspects of our lives, it's essential for the industry to reflect the diversity of its users. Championing female talent will ensure that products and services consider the needs and preferences of all users, through more inclusive designs and experiences. 

In the journey to bridge this gender gap, mentorship plays a really important role. Likeminded female mentors can offer invaluable support, nurture new talent, and foster a sense of belonging and community. By sharing our experiences and fostering mentorship, we pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive tech landscape. Together, we can break barriers, empower women, and shape a future where every voice is heard and valued. Empowered women empower and inspire others.