Blog, Diversity & Inclusion

The Benefits of Women Learning to Code: What You Do and Don’t Know

You know already that we have a serious shortage of women coders. Or if you don’t, you might check out Ciara Byrne’s three-year-old piece on the loneliness of women coders here. You know, too, that gender biases continue to devalue women’s salaries. Recall that whole 1990’s “women earn 72 cents to the dollar of a man” platitude? By 2015 women earned 79 percent of men’s earnings, and according to the group Women’s Policy Research, women won’t receive equal pay until 2059. You probably also know that New York’s Mayor Bloomberg warned we must learn to “program or be programmed“–that was all the way back in 2012.

Here’s what you don’t know:

In Feb of this year, a researcher at Cal Poly teamed up with 4 more researchers at North Carolina State to conduct a study of gender bias in open source. And they found that in open source software communities “women’s contributions tend to be accepted more often than men’s.” This was as long as women’s gender remained unidentifiable.

As soon as women were known to be women, according to the study, they were rejected at higher rates than their male counterparts. (See study cited above for details.) You’re angry, right? Our point is that women are killer coders. But that’s not the end. Today coding really can make our lives better, and we want to show you why:

1. Employment opportunities are greater in number than ever before: “In 2015, Intel pledged $300 million to increasing diversity in its offices. Google pledged $150 million and Apple is donating $20 million, all to producing a tech workforce that includes more women and non-white workers” (TechInsider). In short, by 2016 everybody wants anybody who isn’t a white man.

2. Related to the above, getting hired is suddenly just like Tindering. Except it’s the opposite of Tindering, because Blendoor does merit-based matching. Adios, gender-bias in hiring practices.

3. Flexibility, flexibility, and flexibility:
More employment opportunities means you’ll be more marketable, and this means you will have greater flexibility in choosing how and where and for whom (yourself? another?) you will work.

4. Coding pays better than cleaning.
And lawyering, and doctoring, and a lot of other things, too. Which means, if we are to believe those people who call coding “fun,” coding allows you to DWYL while continuing to spend too much on heels, or horses, or whatever your compulsion may be.Save