Beyond the Code conference brings diverse perspective to tech

The tech sector has a rep for being a boys’ club, and perhaps rightly so — according to StatsCan, in 2011, 39 per cent of STEM graduates were women, compared to 66 percent of men.

To do their part in addressing the gender gap, Shopify is hosting Beyond The Code today, a tech conference dedicated to people interested in diversifying the tech sector. During the conference, participants can attend hands-on workshops like Failure and Experimentation in Startups, led by Boxit founder and Nymi product manager Lauren Long, and learn how to deploy services using AWS and Docker with Kate Heddleston, a software engineer from San Francisco.

“We’re conscious of the fact that workplace challenges change throughout a career,” said Anna Lambert, the talent acquisition lead at Shopify. “The struggles you might encounter right out of school could be very different than the ones you face as a mid-career or senior professional in tech. That’s why we aim to have speakers from a variety of roles and experience levels to talk about their unique situations.”

“Having a strong, open community of people that want to improve diversity in tech is so important, Beyond the Code is a place where anyone who’s interested can gather to share stories about what they’ve experienced and learned, and support each other in our career, and life, journeys,” said Lambert. “It’s a safe, positive space where we can work together to help our community improve.”

At the end of the day, attendees can attend a panel discussion on why diversity numbers from tech companies are still lagging, amidst an age where articles raising concerns about Silicon Valley’s bro culture are popping up all the time.

“Diverse teams build better products. Without diversity, we’re missing out on a whole universe of ideas and possibilities that would make our society stronger,” said Lambert when asked about the importance of events like Beyond the Code. “Beyond the Code is here for the people that want to build a more diverse industry, to help them find support, strength, and new ideas from peers and mentors.