CoderDojo Girls Initiative: Our Birthday Commitment
Today, with the help of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!), we’re making a commitment to recruit 5000 new female volunteers into the CoderDojo movement.
We used our seventh birthday party as an opportunity to highlight the CoderDojo Girls Initiative and focus on the huge, global effort that our community of volunteers makes to increase the percentage of girls in their Dojos. To date, the CoderDojo movement has helped more than 60000 girls learn how to code and create for free in a fun, social environment. Our ultimate goal is to reach gender parity in Dojos to widen access to coding around the world. One of the steps that we are taking to work towards this goal is our commitment to recruit and train 5000 women volunteers from various backgrounds by 2021.
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” – Marian Wright Edelman
Driven by research
Research consistently finds that the presence of role models is a really effective way to inspire women and minorities to become interested in studying subjects and working in industries where they are underrepresented. A 2016 study conducted by Accenture and Girls Who Code highlighted this: it showed that girls have a significantly higher interest in computing and coding when they have teachers that are women for these subjects, while the level of boys’ interest is not affected by the gender of their teacher. Significantly, of the girls in the study who had women role models, 62% said they were likely to study programming or computer science in college. On the other hand, only 15% of girls with no women role models said the same.
Role models can come from all walks of life and backgrounds. We always emphasise that you don’t need technical skills to volunteer at a Dojo: maybe you love working with kids, perhaps you are a great problem solver, or maybe you are creative and have an eye for design. All of these traits make you the perfect Dojo volunteer! This is why we are calling on women from all backgrounds to get involved in the CoderDojo movement to inspire and support the next generation of female tech creators and entrepreneurs.
Later this summer, as part of the wider CoderDojo Girls Initiative, we’ll be releasing an analysis of the impact of our free Empowering the Future guide for promoting gender parity, where we’ll share which best practices that we collated in the guide are proving to be most effective for Dojos around the world.