Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

CODE GIRL Movie

Empowering girls to use technology to solve social issues

Today I saw the CODE GIRL movie at the Zonta Film Festival held at the Princess Twin cinema. I loved it. The girls in the movie were smart, funny, and determined to make positive change in their communities. The best part was they were using technology to do it.

Here is where I think the real power of getting women involved in technology is shown. Women often want to help solve social issues. If we empower them to use technology to do this the possibilities are infinite.

The movie follows girls at various stages of the Global Technovation Challenge. The Global Technovation Challenge is:

a technology entrepreneurship program and competition for young women. Through an intensive 3-month, 50-hour curriculum, teams of young women work together to imagine, design, and develop mobile apps, then pitch their “startup” businesses to investors.

Over 1,374 young women from 19 countries have completed this challenge so far. In the movie we get to follow a number of teams in an array of countries at various stages of the competition.

The girls must first come up with an idea for an app that will make a positive impact in their communities. They must build a business plan, marketing plan, develop the app, then pitch it. These girls came up with great ideas including helping people find clean water, perform an impaired driving test before getting into a car, water conservation techniques, and many more. Their ideas were well thought out solutions to problems they experienced in their communities.

There is so much power in getting girls and women involved in building technology. Think about the amazing things that have come out of the tech industry in the last 30 years. Most of those ideas were driven, architected, and built by men. Think about the potential of adding a female perspective to the tech of the future. I want to find out!

This movie is fantastic because it shows that girls are not only capable of learning the skills needed to build software, but they excel at it. They are creative, they are great problem solvers, they are driven, and they have fun building software.

Many of the girls were introduced to coding and entrepreneurship for the first time with this challenge. They had no idea if they would like it. It was fantastic to see that many of the girls did not stop building their apps, even when they were eliminated from the challenge. It shows the need and value of these programs. If we can expose girls to how awesome it can be to build software, they may choose it as a career!

At the end of the film we were fortunate enough to speak with the film’s director via skype. This was beyond amazing for me. The movie really hit a chord with me and I was actually able to tell the person who made it just how much it meant to me. AWESOME. I might have teared up a bit when telling her….

When ask by an audience member what she thought the next step should be after this movie she replied that we need to get computer science in schools. Right now there are many programs such as the Technovation Challenge that are run before or after school. This isn’t enough. We need computer science to be taught to all children starting in elementary school. Children should be exposed to it in the same way as mathematics, science, and art all the way through their education.

I highly recommend watching this film. The girls in the film will have you laughing, crying, and laughing again. If you have young girls, please show it to them! It only costs one dollar to rent, it’s cheaper than a coffee.

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