The Impact of Women Who Code, The Importance of Our Community

Giving Tuesday
11.29.2016

written by

Women Who Code is working to change the world. Together we are changing the face of tech, creating a more inclusive, and diverse industry, and helping women to connect with professional opportunities that are propelling them into positions of power.

At the same time we are working to empower women who are already influential in tech, and spotlight their accomplishments in order to create a generation of role models, which will inspire the next generation to succeed.

Take a look at the work we’re doing, the impact we are having, and then join us in our mission to help female tech professionals achieve career greatness. Then if you can, join our efforts and support this vital cause.

Community

Women Who Code is an organization made up of over 80,000 female engineers located in 60 cities and 20 countries around the world. These women are connected through our local Networks, our outreach efforts, and the weekly CODE Review Newsletter, which contains inspirational stories about women in tech each week. This is important because it shows women in the industry that they are not alone, that tech is not dominated by men, and that there are other women out there doing amazing things every single day.

Jessica Lam

Jessica Lam, WWCode SF, VP of Engineering at LoungeBuddy

“I love that Women Who Code provides a safe environment for women to explore. It's awesome, because often times we are socialized into thinking that mistakes are permanent and failures are to be avoided. Engineering goes counter to that! I think software engineering, and engineering at large, is a very empowering skill. It gives you the power to bring your imagination to life, from something that's just in your head, to a reality ready to be shared with anyone. I think that way of thinking is also valuable in life, where in tough situations, instead of thinking of all the ways something is wrong, we are also empowered to think how we can change the current realities and fix it.”

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WWCode Accra

Afia Owusu-Forfie, Director WWCode Accra

“My name is Afia Owusu-Forfie. I first walked into a Women Who Code event in June 2014. I loved the concept immediately and really wished I had something similar when I grew up in Ghana. Thus begun what I now call the most self-sacrificing journey yet most fulfilling quest of my life. In other words, while I missed the opportunity I really wanted to make the same available to Ghanaian women; simply because I had walked in their shoes before.”

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WWCode Accra

Ida Heathcote-Fumador, WWCode Accra, Senior Software Engineer at Origgin Ltd

“Throughout the journey for the planning and organizing to the end of the event, I met so many Women in the industry, who inspired me with their passion and selflessness. I felt something new- we could relate with ease, it felt like family. Finally! I have found a group of women who speak my ‘language’.”

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Scholarships

In the last two years Women Who Code has been responsible for giving away over $1 million in scholarships and conference tickets. These opportunities have empowered women around the world to both enter the tech industry, and get the education they need to achieve the next level in their careers.

Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes, WWCode Austin: Currently enrolled in FlatIron School Online Web Developer Program thanks to a scholarship from WWCode.

"I moved back to Austin in 2014, and soon after became involved in Women Who Code. That lit a proverbial fire, and I soon tried to learn All the Things (:smile:). I love to learn, but it proved to be a gift and a curse. I could not focus on just one thing! Two really great friends of mine decided to help me narrow down things I like. So, I ended up self-teaching a bit and attended a 1-month prep course at MakerSquare which solidified things a bit.”

”Let me tell you: had I not found Women Who Code, I might have gone a bit crazy. There weren’t many women and STEM-oriented things around me in my hometown nor here that I was aware of. Someone told me about Meetup and I decided to sign up for an account. After entering my interests, WWCode Austin popped up on the list. I currently co-host a “Ruby Tuesday” meetup for all of the Ruby-istas out there, and I honestly consider them family.”

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Event Ticket Giveaways

Women Who Code has made over 4,000 conference tickets available to members of the community. This has given female engineers the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious events in the industry. This is important because it helps to highlight the female face of tech, while also giving women a chance to Network and grow their professional connections.

Darya Danesh

Darya Danesh, WWCode Amsterdam

“I’ve recently started a web development course, and stumbled across Women Who Code in my search for a community. I signed up for the newsletter, excited to learn about what is going on in the tech world, and specifically how us ladies are so important to the community.”

“I think it was in the second newsletter I received in my email that I saw a contest to win a ticket to the Percona Live MySQL conference in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is quite a tech hub at the moment, with so much activity in the Startup sector. I’ve seen so many conferences popping up here and there that I would like to attend, but being in a weird transition in my life (and unemployed on top of everything else) it’s simply impossible for me to afford to attend.”

“So I entered in the contest to win a ticket to the Percona conference and within 48 hours I received a congratulatory email. Wow! I thought: I sign up for so many contests and never expect to win... and usually that’s for a book or a ticket to a concert. Here I am, new to the tech world and feeling like a fish out of water, and I’ve won this ticket to what turned out to be an incredible experience for me.”

“In the first keynote, we were informed that the conference had been sold out (400 tickets) and yet I noticed that there were maybe 10 ladies. Outside of those ladies, it was the organizing staff that was female. There is something so wrong about this. Maybe it is my experience and the fact that I am actively seeking other women in IT, but I know so many women who work in tech! I never would have expected that this notion of “not many women” actually exists. To me, it has always just felt like a story.”

“What I discovered from being one of the few women at this conference was an intense feeling, a need if you must, to shatter this view of the tech community. Not all tech is made for men. Not all women are made for organizational/other duties in the tech industry. Not all women are overly intellectual and dressed smartly, or sloppy like a teenager. You hear so many stories about women in tech who are shattering the glass ceiling in high performing, high paid positions. But what about the rest of us?”

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Empowerment

Women Who Code is dedicated to the empowerment of women in tech. Our Networks are designed to help provide opportunities for members to participate in prestigious events, give talks at conferences and take on leadership roles within the group. This builds their prestige, while also reinforcing their confidence, giving them the support they need to continue achieving their dreams.

Judith Agbotse

Judith Nayram Agbotse, Director WWCode Accra

“During and after our maiden events in late November 2015, I felt so proud of myself (and the team) for pulling off a successful launch. It was nostalgic. The new things I learned, the new friends I made and most importantly, the fresh confidence I gained in myself were irreplaceable! Not forgetting, my newest mentor (and inspiration), Afia O.”

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Event Programming

Through its more than 60 local Networks worldwide, Women Who Code has hosted more than 4,200 free and low cost events for members. These include technical talks, coding workshops, presentations, networking nights and much more. Through these programs, thousands of women have been able to pursue the art of code, supported by a community of like minded experts.

These events are only possible through the generous contributions of individuals and organizations. Our ability to impact the world, and change the technology industry, is directly affected by altruistic tendencies of people like you.

Patricia Ehrhardt

Patricia Ehrhardt, WWCode SF

“I heard about WWCode at my very first hackathon, which was Railsbridge. I had decided to switch careers from 20+ years in administration and operations to one of software developer and was going to do it all for free! WWCode was brought up as an alternative to the online MOOCS at Coursera and Stanford that I was taking. I did not yet know the power of paired programming and meetups so I wasn't ready to leave the comfort of writing horribly bad beginner code in my own home for coding in public. BOY was I wrong.”

“I was laid off after 8 years in 2014. My last day was December 31 and because of the WWCode Javascript study group meetup I had been attending for a year prior, I was able to land a job as a web content developer on January 1st 2015!”

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Accra

Asabea Asare-Mintah, WWCode Accra

“The Women Who Code Accra network has given me the chance to learn from other women in Tech and also share with other women especially younger ones who have questions about careers in Tech beyond programming. I believe listening to other women in similar roles or on a similar path has boosted my confidence and that is the reason why one of my contributions to WWCode Accra was to connect all the women I know in my Tech space to WWCode.”

“Through WWCode Accra, I have also been introduced to two new programming languages SAS and R which I find extremely handy in various organisations that handle large data.“

“Best of all my experience so far is having the chance to share with younger women still in or just out of university my experiences as a woman in Tech to prepare them for what to expect in the professional world. I am also grateful for the chance to be part of such a prestigious and exciting global network as Women Who Code.”

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Networking

Being a member of Women Who Code means that you are connected to over 80,000 female tech professionals around the world. This gives you access to mentors, experts, and colleagues in the industry, growing your professional connections while opening up networking opportunities with leaders in the field.

Laura Uzcategui

Laura Uzcategui Jauregui, WWCode Dublin Director

“WWCode Dublin’s first event was in November 2015, and it was there that I met one of the Managers of Workday, the company I currently work for. After creating a professional and supportive relationship with them, I was contacted by one of the company’s recruiters, which in turn lead me to the awesome Software Engineer position I currently hold.”

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Women Who Code Atlanta Hackathon: Women Take on Tech

This summer Women Who Code endeavored to put together Atlanta’s first all female hackathon. This event, which was an incredible success, brought together women from across the country to participate in the three day event, which was presided over by Directors from WWCode Atlanta, Tampa, and Greenville, as well as members of WWCode HQ. An incredible showcase of the talented women in the industry, it highlighted the talents of those who are already doing amazing things in tech, while inspiring others to pursue their dreams.

Filza

Filza Mazahir, WWCode SF

“The hackathon was really inspiring! I chose the social impact track as it was close to my heart, and seeing all these women get together and use technology for the greater good inspired me to do more. It gave me the conviction that I can actually use my skills to give back to the community just like I always wanted.”

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Hackathon

Sabrina Harris, WWCode ATL

“The spirit of collaboration, passion and creativity that permeated the Women Who Code Hackathon attracted me to the event and ultimately to Team Pairsona. This was a life changing experience where I gained new friends and new found confidence as a UX Designer.”

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Stephanie Taylor

Stephanie Taylor, WWCode ATL

“Just being a part of something so awesome was life altering for me. I was so impressed with the organization and dedication from all of the staff, volunteers, mentors and judges involved in the event. When I started on Friday I had no idea what to expect. By Sunday night I was even more excited about the choice I made to become a developer and grateful that WWCode was going to be by my side every step of the way.”

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Shirley Hicks

*Shirley Hicks, Director WWCode Birmingham *

“It was awesome. For the first time, I wasn’t terrified of not knowing something, of being found inadequate, or of not being able to contribute to a team. As a mid-life career changer, I’m still a relative noob when it comes to programming. The Women Who Code hackathon organizers did several things to help myself (and many others!) get past our fears and do good work at our first hackathon.”

“It was a lot of fun, I learned a lot about how teams work, and after much discussion during the work, have a better idea of what to expect within the software development workplace. I made some important connections, have an invitation to job shadow, and got a couple of callbacks from recruiters. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

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WWConnect 2016

In March WWCode hosted CONNECT 2016, a two day technical conference in Seattle featuring technical and career talks, workshops, and networking and recruiting events, as well as talks and panels by some of the industry's most influential leaders. This was event that highlighted diversity in tech, and showcased the accomplishments of women who have achieved success in the field.

Luisa Morales

Luisa M. Morales, WWCode NY

“Attending #WWCONNECT2016 was like being surrounded by everything I always felt I was missing, but hadn’t realized I was. One of those “You don’t know, what you don’t know” moments, except… I didn’t know I was missing this community in my life, because I’d never experienced it at this scale.”

“Meeting other female developers was empowering, eye-opening and extremely refreshing. I didn’t feel like I had to have my guard up or explain why I was there, like I’d felt at past conferences and the occasional meetup. There was a mutual understanding that we were all there for the same reason: We’re programmers, we love creating, we want to learn from others in the industry, make friends and have a bit of fun.”

“The conference showed me what’s possible, and taught me that I’m not being too-emotional or over-thinking things when it comes to certain experiences. As females were judged differently, and as female developers we face certain holdbacks that our male counterparts may not.”

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