Women in Australia make up only 29% of the technology workforce, with the proportion growing by just 0.75% each year, according to the Australian Computer Society. In addition, only 1 in 5 information technology graduates are women.
In a bid to raise the number of girls participating in the sector, the Victorian government has launched a partnership with Code like a Girl, a social enterprise providing girls and women with confidence, tools, knowledge and support to enter the world of coding. The partnership will provide paid internships for five women within government departments, as well as an intensive four-month coding course, to help them become junior web developers.
"We know first hand it is a developers market. They can name their price, name the flexibility that they need because companies are desperate for talent," said Ally Watson, founder of social enterprise Code Like a Girl. “We need to accept that traditional degrees and diplomas are not delivering the diversity of people that we need, nor are they developing the numbers of people that need to come to this field.”
Creating opportunities for women
Danny Pearson, Victorian Minister for Government Services, shared that he hopes that the programme will increase diversity and representation across STEM sectors. He said: “We will never be able to conquer the gender pay gap if we have women being excluded, for whatever reason, from these new economy 21st-century jobs.”
Filipino migrant, Jane Villo-Mario, struggled to launch her career in the technology industry, after nine years of being a stay at home mother. She said: “I started looking for work, but nothing came up. Sometimes, just the first opportunity is the hardest part. So, that's the biggest hurdle.”
After completing an internship arranged for her by Code Like a Girl, Jane was offered a permanent job as a DevOps Engineer. “The flexibility of it, I think, is the most important part. So, because I get to see my girls anytime I want. I work purely at home,” she says.
To apply for Code Like a Girl internships, please visit codelikeagirl.com/internships. Please note applicants must be legally allowed to work in Australia.