According to a global survey of software developers in 2020, more than 90% of web developers are men, but the girls of the Newburgh Girls Code Club are working hard to change that.
"When I joined, when I tell people that I code, they're like 'oh, you code?' like it's surprising, or it's surprising that I'm smart because I'm a female, so I kind of take that to heart," said Newburgh Girls Code Club member Janeyah.
What You Need To Know
- A 2020 global survey found that more than 90 percent of web developers are men
- The Newburgh Girls Code Club, hosted by the Newburgh Free Library, is open to girls and non-binary youth ages 10-18 interested in learning how to code
- The club meets twice a week on Zoom and is led by Open Hub founder Yulia Ovchinnikova and youth leaders
Every Monday and Thursday, the girls meet on Zoom with youth leaders and Open Hub founder Yulia Ovchinnikova to learn the complex building blocks of coding.
Hosted by the Newburgh Free Library and facilitated by Open Hub and Panja Culture, Newburgh Girls Code Club is open to girls and non-binary youth of Newburgh. Every week, the girls learn how to create fun games and graphics using the power of coding.
But it’s a lot more than that.
"It's not just a coding class," said Newburgh Girls Code Club member Inaya. "It's like a community where girls can talk, and if they have problems, they know they won't be judged by somebody and they can feel safe."
"It's incredible to see them building their confidence, so even for those young women who don’t stay within the sphere of coding, they will have a sharper professional tool kit and also the skills of confidence, and the friendships that they develop will carry on well past their time in the club," said Anusha Mehar, the director of communications and outreach for the Newburgh Girls Code Club.
More than 90% of the girls in the club are girls of color, further helping to bridge the technology gap.
"Myself, as a mixed woman of color, to see other young women of color developing themselves into leaders, with the support not only of their mentors but of one another, and really feed off of one another's inspiration, is really important, because in all instances the youth are the next generation of leaders," said Mehar. "Those young kids will be someone's boss one day."
For more information on the Newburgh Girls Code Club and their summer boot camp, click this link.