In the past years, we have been engaging in initiatives to encourage diversity and inclusion in tech. In doing so, we are constantly trying to learn and help others learn more about how diversity and inclusion can be fostered in the organizational and wider societal context.
This is why at the end of 2019 we reached out to our community partners to understand their viewpoints and activities surrounding diversity and inclusion.
Here is how Coding Girls are changing the industry
Coding Girls is a gender-neutral organization dedicated to increasing the presence of girls and women in tech, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Our programs are aimed to prepare girls to become the role models of the next generation in order to shift the paradigm and to create a balance in the tech world.
Coding Girls delivers a series of worldwide events, workshops, and courses. With communities and clubs across the world, we are continuously growing and increasing the number of girls and women in tech.
How do you define diversity and inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion are vital elements of every healthy and successful community. At a workplace diversity and inclusion could be defined as equal opportunity, access to the same resources, where everyone is treated fairly and respectfully. At Coding Girls, we believe that our differences spark innovation. And in order to be able to innovate and progress, companies need to focus on fostering diverse and inclusive teams.
How would you describe your organization’s strategy for diversity and inclusion?
At Coding Girls we help companies to create a culture of inclusion by co-organising joint events to support and promote diversity, inclusion and foster a sense of belonging while advising them on how to communicate the message clearly without hard-selling or recruiting but rather showing what it’s like to work at their company and why they might want to consider that. At WomenTech Network we connect talented and skilled diverse talent with career opportunities at companies and organisations that value diversity and inclusion and thrive to create an environment of belonging.
What does your organisation do to empower girls and women in tech?
We organise different types of events: meetups, workshops, courses. We support females in tech by providing discounted and complimentary tickets to tech events and large conferences, like WeAreDevelopers Congress, Web Summit, Webit Congress and other conferences.
What is one of your recent achievements that you are proud of?
Due date we have 5000+ members worldwide. Recently we’ve launched a Coding Girls chapter in Kampala, Uganda. It has been quite challenging but in the end, it was worth it. Ultimately, girls and women in Kampala were given a taste of Coding Girl’s local and broader ambitions: to drive more women to embark on the tech field journey while encouraging them that everyone is more than capable of realising their potential; it is just a matter of believing in themselves and working hard.
What do you recommend that other organizations should do in order to incorporate more diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
Put it as a priority and as a must rather than an option. Organisations and companies are struggling to hire relevant tech talent, often retaining this talent could be tough too because they might not feel like they belong to the workplace they are at. In order to incorporate and live diversity, it’s important to support organisations and initiatives that promote it and look for the ways to embed it at the core strategy and as a fundamental value of their company. Having C-level executives and the decision-makers from diverse backgrounds at the company might help too.
How do you attract community leaders and volunteers to join you on a mission?
It’s pretty simple. We make people feel welcomed and enable them to realise their potential by fostering a sense of belonging and purpose. At Coding Girls, we have our values and we do onboard people who truly share them. Also, we have both women and men as part of our organisation.
How does the partnership with WeAreDevelopers contribute towards achieving diversity and inclusion in tech?
Every year we give away tickets to underrepresented and motivated community members. Also, we offer various discounts to our community members to join WeAreDevelopers conferences in various locations. We’ve received lots of positive feedback on both the content of the talks and the networking opportunities. We are planning WomenTech Berlin, an after-work networking event with speed meetings with top companies and growing startups, inspiring talks by fellow women in tech and we are happy to have WeAreDevelopers as a key partner.
Anna Radulovski is an entrepreneur, founder and advocate for diversity in tech, passionate about startups and innovation. She is Founder at Coding Girls, a global non-profit helping girls and women to get into technology and develop a tech-career as well as Founder and CEO at the European based WomenTech Network, connecting diverse professionals with companies that put diversity and inclusion first and provide an environment of belonging. As a partner at Tech Family Ventures and Regional Director at the Silicon Valley-based Founder Institute, the largest pre-seed accelerator worldwide, she invests in early-stage founders helping them to shape their business model, MVP and to raise capital.