Last night, we hosted one of the most special nights of the year for not only the She Codes team, but our very first Plus cohort. Our 23 incredible graduates were welcomed to the stage in front of an overwhelmingly full house that included Minister Dave Kelly MLA, Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science and special guests Diane Jurgens and Rag Udd of BHP.
For those that aren’t aware, over the past 4 years we have taught over 3,000 women how to code. This journey started with Kate Kirwin, our founder, indulging her own curiosity but being unable to find the communities that were a perfect fit. Following a conversation with Kieran McCluskey of BHP on how the pipeline of women entering into technology roles can be increased, they decided to take action. Last night, we saw their vision come to fruition.
She Codes Plus was funded by BHP and New Industries WA to upskill not only their internal staff, but women across the broader community. This one for one structure provides a tangible upskilling and professional development opportunity as well as a brand alignment and recruitment opportunities for some of the best up-and-coming female software developers in Perth.
“Plus is so much more than just content. It’s a community, it’s a fun and safe space, it’s confidence building and most importantly it’s an invitation.” Kate Kirwin shared during her opening speech at the showcase. She continued, “We know that only 29% of tech is female, that 23% of STEM graduates are women, and that 75% of the fastest growing careers require tech skills. We also know that the gap is not because women don’t want to be in tech as is commonly cited. Our last Perth workshop sold out in 3 hours for 150 women with that many again on the waitlist. Over 250 women applied for this first iteration of Plus – more than 10 times the number of spaces available. Clearly “not wanting to be in tech” is not the barrier.”
By creating the community she had longed for, Kate has been able to not only make social change and personal development but also tangible business outcomes. Three of the graduating She Coders have already secured secondments into the BHP Technology Team, one has secured a job in the Tech Team in her existing organisation, and one has changed companies into a more tech-focused role. That’s five tangible job outcomes, and we are still only in week 19 of the 22 week program!
She Codes Plus powered by BHP, will be running a cohort both in Perth and Brisbane in 2020, with applications opening in February for an April start date. So, if you’re interested in being involved, whether as a participant, a mentor or a sponsor, please do not hesitate to take action and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.