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CODE LIKE A GIRL FOUNDERS

July 13, 2017
This month, we’re shining a light on Ally Watson and Vanessa Doake. The duo founded Code Like A Girl; an initiative dedicated to inspiring more females to pursue careers in coding. We talk to them about the challenges women face in the tech industry & of course, their favourite apps, blogs & podcasts.

Code Like a Girl is a social enterprise sparking change in the male dominated industry of tech by debugging the gender gap and inspiring new girls to learn coding through events and workshops. They believe in creating innovative learning experiences where girls from any background feel supported, capable and inspired in the world of technology.
Ally has a degree in Computer Science and has been building websites & apps for the last 7 years. While Vanessa’s background is primarily in HR and most recently operations. She has a keen interest in how technology is going to change the way we work & relate to each other.

ON WHY THEY STARTED ‘CODE LIKE A GIRL’:
“When I moved to Melbourne three years ago I’d left all my friends and professional networks behind to start a fresh. I found myself wanting to go along to tech events and get exposed to new networks but I’d pull out last minute with fear I’d be the only the girl in the room; social anxiety got the better of me.”

“It got me thinking how intimidating it must be for a newbie starting out in tech but for women in particular, the challenge can be greater. It occurred to me that I probably wasn’t the only girl who felt this way, so I decided to create my own tech events for girls; thus Code Like a Girl was born.” – Ally

ON THE CHALLENGES WOMEN FACE IN THE TECH INDUSTRY:
“Imposter syndrome is a big one. Generally, boys are introduced to technology at an earlier age than girls, so when they take tech-focused subjects at school or university, girls commonly experience feelings of inferiority because they are behind their male peers. This, combined with being the minority in the room, the odd one out, makes it very easy to disengage and pursue a different career.” – Vanessa

ON THEIR FUTURE PLANS…
“Our immediate plan and focus is to scale so we can provide all girls across the country with the opportunity to take part in our events and workshops. We aim to be in every Australian capital city by 2020.”

“High on our list of priorities is to increase our sustainable revenue streams so we can deliver on our commitment to keep workshops and events accessible, or very low cost, to ensure all girls, regardless of background, will be able to learn coding skills.” – Vanessa

SPOTLIGHT ON YOUR FAVOURITE…
Ally Watson:
Apps: Slack, Depop
Podcasts: Start-up podcast & Sh*t town
Blogs: Reddit (it’s not really a blog but couldn’t live without it)
Documentary: Snowdon
Books: Quiet by Susan Cain

Vanessa Doake:
Apps: Everplaces and Instagram
Podcasts: This American Life, 99% invisible and Desert Island Discs
Blogs: Techcrunch, Fast Company and Pedestrian.tv
Documentary: Dear Zachary
Books: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Follow Code Like a Girl
Instagram: @codelikeagirlau

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