Why so few women in tech? Seven challenges and potential solutions.

Here is a look at some of the roadblocks women face in technology fields, and the organizations that are fighting to overcome these issues.

6. There isn’t a space specifically for women to learn code. One solution: Women’s Coding Collective

Courtesy of Rose Lincoln/Harvard University News Office
From left, Harvard students Lauren Carvalho, Shareen Asmat, and Dee Charlemagne check out Ms. Charlemagne's project at the CS50 tech fair in Harvard University's Northwest Lab, where students displayed projects they designed using computer programming in 2010. Women's Coding Collective provides coding training specifically for women.

Remember those earlier stats about how fewer women are majoring in computer science than in decades past? Here’s how that is translating to the real world: less than 25 percent of programmers and web developers are women.

The Women’s Coding Collective (WCC) believes part of that problem is that there isn’t a judgment-free space for women to polish rusty coding skills or learn new coding languages. In response, the strictly women-only WCC has created cheap ($50), two-week-long online courses that bring women up to speed on these skills, as well as act as the host of a community where women can troubleshoot coding issues and present new ideas.

“Our goal is to help chip away at [the gender gap] until [it’s] consistently even,” the WCC says on its website. “We do this by creating spaces that are full of women and led by women. It's a lot about visibility and presence, creating spaces and role models... We cultivate supportive, no-stupid-questions environments where women can learn, build, and code together.”

Members of the WCC (which is available online free of charge) each have their own dashboard with upcoming classes, a constantly updating feed of common questions, and events happening in the area.

Once women have the basics down, they can head over to another organization that helps women build on developing skills: Girl Develop It. This organization has similar goals to the WCC, saying, “Girl Develop It is an international organization, that exists to provide affordable and accessible programs to women who want to learn software development through mentorship and hands-on instruction. We are committed to making sure women of all ages, races, education levels, income, and upbringing can build confidence in their skill set to develop web and mobile applications.”

Girl Develop It has chapters in 26 cities around the country, and offers more advanced class options (an example upcoming class in Boston will teach Backbone.js, a front-end JavaScript library).

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