coding: Why the future belongs to female coders

Ayushi Shah (27) from Mumbai took up a course in Coding that opened up several job opportunities post her graduation. “I graduated in Commerce, but all I could get was unpaid internships. I knew I had to upskill and enhance my qualification to get well-paying jobs. Since I was interested in the quantitative side of finance, coding knowledge would have enhanced my CV. I learned Python and there was no looking back,” she says.

A formal course in Coding from Masai and a 3-month internship at ShareChat, got Ayushi promoted as Software Development Engineer 1 (SDE 1). She is one of the highly-paid Coders at Masai.

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Ayushi is not the only female coder in the industry as there has been a paradigm shift in the rise of women in the coding sector. Women coders are innovative and are ably handling challenging positions. “Earlier, women were restricted to early programming and coding levels, but now we see them taking up crucial positions such as tech leader or CEO. In the coming decade, there will be a good strength of female professionals in the coding sector, as the schools have introduced coding and girls are picking up well,” says Rajeev Tiwari, co-founder, Stemrobo Technologies.

To encourage women’s participation at the workplace and address the gender divide, several companies have introduced specialized recruiting campaigns for female programmers. However, due to the demand-supply gap in the current workforce, 20%-30% are female programmers and 70% – 80% are male programmers. “For long, fewer girls entered Engineering, however, their numbers are growing with each passing year. For example, 15 – 20 years ago, only 3 girls were found in an engineering class, but now the percentage of girls is fairly large in a batch size of 30-40 students. Similarly, the trend of women programmers has been following an upward trajectory in recent times,” Tiwari says.

Women are breaking the barriers and gender stereotypes, says Trupti Mukker, CEO, WhiteHat Jr, where over 11,000 women are teaching children how to code. According to Deloitte Global, several global technology firms will have 33% female representation in their forces in 2022. This will be an increase from over two percentage points as compared to 2019.

“There has been a positive increase in female candidates learning to code. Moreover, the proportion of women engineers has risen over the past 20 years. Women today are more likely to study computer science than ever before. While there is a lot to improve in terms of inclusion and diversity in the technology industry in India, the tides are turning as women are working in different tech roles from programming, software developers, data security etc across industries from technology to automotive,” she says.

Several companies are initiating programs to help women join back after a sabbatical post-marriage or a maternity break. They are being offered a hybrid working model. “A few years back, the number of female employees at our organization was 10 – 15%, but now we have around 30% women employees, which indicates an uptake in their numbers. Even at the school level, the number of girl students is increasing year on year. Today, around 40% – 50% girls are taking classes in coding, STEM and artificial intelligence, as compared to only 20% – 30% in the past,” says Tiwari.

The female programmers or the coders have an edge over their male counterparts as they have a creative bent of mind which adds value to their careers, adds Tiwari.

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