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In honour of International Women’s Day, we want to do a shout out to Code Like a Girl, a social enterprise providing girls and women with the confidence, tools, knowledge and support to enter and flourish in the world of coding.
The female-centred company was started in 2015 by Ally Watson, who was recently awarded an OAM, as a way to meet other women who code.
A backend developer by trade, she often experienced first-hand the isolation and barriers associated with being a woman in a male-dominated industry.
Ally and the team at Code Like a Girl believe that no one should miss out on education for any reason – whether socioeconomic or other, which is why Code Like A Girl focuses on making tech accessible, inclusive, open and, most importantly, fun.
In the last six years, her organisation has helped thousands of girls, women and other gender minorities learn coding and develop useful digital skills.
“What started as a supportive networking meet-up quickly grew into a social enterprise that is having a measurable impact on tech’s gender imbalance,” Watson told Smart Company earlier this year.
So how did she get there? Well, as a girl, she grew up in a council flat as the youngest of four daughters to a single mother.
With the influence of a strong woman, she went on to discover her passion project – creating female-friendly coding environments.
To make it happen, Ally volunteered nights and weekends setting up and running Code Like a Girl while continuing her full time job as a developer.
Her story shows that when you really believe in something, hard work can make your dreams a reality.
It’s also about the power of passion. What do you really love doing, or care about? And how can you make it a focus in your life?