Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Documentary - Code Debugging the Gender Gap


Code Debugging The Gender Gap by filmaker Robin Hauser Reynolds. My husband, daughter and I went to a screening of this documentary hosted by Amazon last night. My husband falls into the category of the concerned father of a daughter who may enter the world of coding and computers. He is also a strong believer that you should pursue what you love and it shouldn't be hindered by gender or colour. In the panel and Q&A after the movie Robin mentions that Dad's often question her how they can help change things so it is easier for their daughters when they enter the workforce. Her main recommendation is to add your voice and support to encouraging diversity. The tech world is like many other careers out there, if you happen to be a women or a person of colour it is most likely you are treated differently then the white males at the same company. A variety of groups and individuals are trying to change this in the fast growing world of tech.

Something that stood out to me throughout the film was that coding and computers have become an important part of life. So why aren't kids being taught more about it throughout their school years? I come from the world of fashion in my career choice and computers have become an integral part of this world also. Knowing the basics of coding and how computers work has practically become a neccessity, be it for your website, design and production or marketing. I find that there is more blurring of the lines between what is tech/business and tech/creativity. Computers have become another essential tool to becoming successful in practically any type of career. Knowing the basics of computers is about equal to knowing how to read and write nowadays.

This documentary does a great job discussing this matter with a good variety of people both male and female. It has people from Etsy, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and more all talking about how they are trying to make their teams more diverse. Thus far it has been an uphill battle with many potholes but progress is being made. Etsy has went so far as to start their own intensive training courses to increase the job pool. I know Amazon has a few organizations within the company to help and encourage female employees along with their diversity team. Anything that helps people to be treated as an individual instead of being accessed for their gender, colour or cultural background is wonderful. In an ideal world it wouldn't be necessary but I think we have a ways to go before that happens.

If you have a chance to view the movie - Go for It. 

The movie is a great conversation starter and provides a variety of potential ways to decrease the gender gap. It is encouraging to see a range of organizations debunking the myth that a career in tech is for white males. Training is gradually being made more accessible to the general person and girls are being encouraged to persue a computer science education. There is still a long ways to go and this is something everyone should be aware of. But if you know someone whose interest is twigged by coding start checking for local oppportunites for them to learn. CoderDojo is one I like or check out Scratch.mit.edu


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