MasterCard Canada is hoping to encourage more girls to learn how to code after a study revealed that a third of women highlight a lack of encouragement or a lack of proper skillset as a barrier to pursuing science and math degrees.
The study showed that only 18 percent of Canadians that considered a career in technology were female and more than half of the women surveyed expressed no interest in pursuing a job in tech. A third of respondents said that they felt women were encouraged to enter other fields and cited this as a barrier to entering fields related to technology.
The study has inspired MasterCard Canada to take action and establish National Girls Learning Code Day.’ The company says it will launch a nationwide effort in collaboration with Ladies Learning Code and the University of Waterloo that will hopefully encourage more women to learn to code.
As part of the campaign, 700 girls aged 8-13 will take an introductory coding class with their parents on November 8th. The University of Waterloo will also host a Python workshop for students not currently engaged in STEM courses. Together, these courses will reach women aged 8-28 in fifteen cities around Canada.
MasterCard is also working with the Centre for Education in Math and Computing (CEMC) and the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo on a free online teaching and learning resource that will be open to everyone. Set for launch in 2015, the courseware act as an aid for students learning to program and is designed to support teachers’ classroom work.
Update: Girls Learning Code Day is happening on November 8th 2014. The classes will be held in 19 cities across Canada simultaneously on Saturday, November 8th, from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.