The CoderDojo Girls Initiative
Over 60,000 girls have learned to code and be creative with technology since CoderDojo first started in 2011. In March 2017 we launched the CoderDojo Girls Initiative. It aims to increase the number of girls attending a CoderDojo from 29% to at least 40% by 2020. By the end of 2018 we had increased the amount of girls involved to 33% of attendees. We want to continue to increase the number of girls who have the opportunity to create with code and have them realise that technology is not only for them, it needs them.
The Initiative’s four key areas
The Initiative focuses on four key areas: developing and improving learning resources (including beginner App Inventor, wearables and taster Mini-Sushi cards), conducting and learning from research (such as our youth survey), highlighting female role models (including Mentor Gemma Cagney and Ninja, Siofra Kelleher) and developing a Guide of best practices. See what we’ve done so far and read our guide for Dojos below!
A recent study found that girls prefer encouragement from women working in STEM (56%) over encouragement from their parents (47%) or even their friends (44%). For International Women’s Day 2019 we are highlighting such role models using #RealRoleModels.
Dojos benefit from having volunteer mentors with different skills and backgrounds who provide support and encouragement to CoderDojo youth. By volunteering a couple of hours of your time each month, you can have a real impact by increasing the number of girls learning to create apps, websites, games, and hardware projects through CoderDojo.
Our ‘Empowering the Future’ Guide
Anyone can download and print our ‘Empowering the Future’ guide for free! This is our most comprehensive guide yet of practical approaches Dojos have tested to engage and sustain girls.
‘Empowering the Future’ guide in English, Spanish and Italian!
Some of the areas that are covered in the guide include:
- approaches to improve the Dojo environment and layout
- assessing the language and images used to describe your Dojo
- content considerations and suggested resources
- importance of and ways to increase access to female role models in your Dojo.
Empowering the future video series
We have also released a series of videos which cover key areas discussed in the guide:
Spread the word!
We’re pledging to increase the proportion of girls in our Dojo as part of the #CoderDojoGirls Initiative https://coderdojo.com/girlsinitiative/ #RealRoleModels
We would like to say a massive thank you to all Community members who contributed by sharing their insights with us to make this “Empowering the Future” Guide as comprehensive and beneficial as possible for other Dojos. The CoderDojo Foundation would also like to thank Microsoft, our funding partner on this project, for their commitment to bring to life STEM skills for European youth. Our sustained partnership aims to enable more youth to become creators of technology with a focus on empowering more young girls to code, see more here and here
Find out more about the other resources created as part of the CoderDojo Girls Initiative here. You can also share insights or ask questions in relation to the Initiative or guide on our Community Forums.