Woman coding illustration

Women Who Code

Women Who Code (WWCode) is a global non-profit organization that offers free coding workshops and leadership development opportunities for women. It was created in response to the low representation of women in the tech industry and is “dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers.” WWCode creates an environment for women where mentorship and networking are valued, and supports women in tech industries around the world. According to WWCode, “Companies with the highest representation of women leadership have seen a 34 per cent higher return on investment than those with few or no women.”

WWCode was founded in San Francisco in 2011. Since then, WWCode has expanded to 60 cities spanning nearly 20 countries, a number of which are in the Pacific Rim. WWCode has over 50,000 members, and 100,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. In roughly five years, WWCode has built strong relationships in the industry, and is sponsored by Google globally and Microsoft in Vancouver, BC.

WWCode has a weekly online publication called the CODE Review, a job board, and a popular blog where women can easily connect. Each city network is listed and potential members can contact WWCode directors. An individual or company can access a list of events through each city’s network and register to host or participate in a variety of hackathons, workshops, and talks.

Vancouver’s WWCode network was launched in early 2017. Vancouver-based network director Reetu Mutti was interviewed for the WWCode blog about the importance of organizations that promote the self-actualization of women. Mutti says that in her 12-year career as a software engineer she has come across very few female senior engineers in her field, and even fewer who have children. The further Mutti moved up in her career, the more she noticed an imbalance of men to women in senior software engineer positions. “The tech industry in general, Vancouver specifically, needs organizations like WWCode to help address that imbalance,” she says.

In the same blog entry, WWCode Vancouver director and co-founder Elgin-Skye McLaren writes that the network has had a lot of demand for events, so these events are clearly something that Vancouver wants.

McLaren got into tech because she met women who encouraged her to do so, and she hopes the network can provide the same support for other women. The event list is updated often and offers a wide range of activities. Past events include a tech talk about JavaScript at Microsoft, and a screening and panel discussion of She Started It at the Rio Theatre in East Vancouver.

There is a worldwide demand for groups like WWCode. Women working together to further their education and build relationships is beneficial to the companies and economies they are a part of. WWCode understands that support is key to women moving forward with confidence in the tech industry.

The further Mutti moved up in her career, the more she noticed an imbalance of men to women in senior positions.

Group4 Engineering