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Why We Don’t Employ Female Developers

Lynda Vaughan
Written by Lynda Vaughan

We don’t employ female developers

Today is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating the achievements of women around the globe and a call for accelerating gender equality.

We don’t employ any female website developers at 10 Degrees. There’s one very simple reason for that: we’ve never had any women apply for our developer vacancies. Not one.

We know from industry networking that there are many female web developers out there, but women are a minority in our industry.

Girls Who Code

Last year, as a team, we watched a very interesting TED talk by Reshma Saujani, the Founder of Girls Who Code, a US based initiative.

There were two key points that jumped out to us from the transcript of Reshma’s talk:

1. Girls have the ability to be really good coders, they’re choosing not to.

Reshma: “Well, at the fifth grade* level, girls routinely outperform boys in every subject, including math and science, so it’s not a question of ability.” (*UK Year 6)

2. As website developers, most of our clients or end users are women. Yet our business, and industry, is predominantly male.

Reshma: “85 percent of all consumer purchases are made by women. Women use social media at a rate of 600 percent more than men. We own the Internet, and we should be building the companies of tomorrow. And I think when companies have diverse teams, and they have incredible women that are part of their engineering teams, they build awesome things.”

So what can we do about that?

We want to promote gender equality and we’d love to have female or other gender developers on our team so that we better represent the demographics of the world we live in. But we are not going to recruit someone just because they are a woman. We want the best people on our team, regardless of their gender.

We can’t do much about how many women are already in the industry, but maybe we could do something to encourage the next generation of girls to get into the industry?

We like to give back at 10 Degrees and this is represented by our ‘full circle’ ethos;

  • We give back to the WordPress community through open source development and sponsorship of WordPress events;
  • We give back to charity by donating our time, as a team, to help local charities;
  • We give back to our local community by developing websites for local events like Wokingham Festival and Wokingham Bikeathon;
  • and we give back to our employees by developing a family-friendly culture of work/life balance and an enjoyable working environment by supporting our team’s personal development goals & ambitions.

The next logical step for us, is to start giving to the next generation and so the vision for the 10 Degrees Academy was born.

The 10 Degrees Academy

We are only a small business and we are not going to change the industry overnight. But if we can encourage just one girl to consider a career in web development, it will be worth it.

The Academy will cover basic coding skills in HTML, CSS and Javascript.

We envisage the 10 Degrees Academy offering school age girls the ability to attend coding summer school with us, free of charge. This will be limited, initially, to girls who attend Wokingham Borough Council schools.

This concept is still at an embryonic stage and the details need to be finessed. But this is us putting our stake in the ground, publicly, and committing to it. We’ll share more details once we’ve got them.

  • If you’re a parent of a girl who might be interested in attending the Academy, please register your interest.
  • If you’re a teacher at a Wokingham Borough Council school who would like to know more, please register your interest.
  • If you’re a female developer who would like to get involved in the academy, or find out more about working at 10 Degrees, please please please do get in touch. We’ll also be at WordCamp London next month if you’d like to have a chat there.
Lynda Vaughan
The Author Lynda Vaughan

Lynda is our Business Manager, overseeing our business strategy, financial planning, marketing, HR and improving our business processes. She has over 20 years experience of corporate level & small businesses and joined 10 Degrees in 2011.

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