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9 February 2024 - 5 minutes

Title: Breaking Codes, Breaking Stereotypes: Women in Coding Description: Explore the history of women in coding, the challenges faced, and the promising future they bring to tech. Break stereotypes, empower women, and celebrate diversity! Women in Coding: Challenging Stereotypes and Redefining the Programmer Image

Women in Coding: Challenging Stereotypes and Redefining the Programmer Image

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

Contrary to popular belief, women in programming is not something new. In fact, women were shaping the future of coding starting from its roots, tracing back to 1843! 

In 1843, Ada Lovelace wrote her first code when she translated and annotated a paper on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a forerunner of digital computers. In addition, she wrote an example of how the machine could be used to calculate Bernoulli numbers–which is now considered to be the first computer program! She also envisioned that the device could work with other types of data like music and text.

Ada Lovelace is truly an inspiration and a pioneer in the field of computing. By the way, don’t forget to mark Ada Lovelace Day in your calendar (the second Tuesday of October) to celebrate the incredible contributions of women to STEM!

Have you heard about the inventor of the first compiler? Her name was Grace Hopper. She was a remarkable American computer scientist, mathematician, and Navy rear admiral who made monumental contributions to the advancement of computer technology. Her influence goes beyond just technical expertise - she even popularized the term "bug" to describe computer errors, adding a touch of entomology to the world of debugging.

Moreover, for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, women dominated the programming field! From the brilliant minds behind the Harvard Computers to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park and skilled engineers at NASA - the history of women in coding is filled with remarkable achievements!

As you can see, the history of women in coding is rich and truly inspiring! 

Breaking the Stereotype

Stereotypes about women in tech often promote the misconception that coding these days is a man's domain. However, women are defying these outdated beliefs and proving themselves as exceptional coders. 

It is crucial that we not only showcase the impressive accomplishments of women in tech but also debunk the false assumptions that hold them back. By celebrating and promoting the successes of women in coding, we can empower future generations to pursue their dreams without being limited by gender stereotypes.

It is clear that from the times of women building the industry and dominating it, a lot has changed. So, how is it possible that women have become so uninterested in coding?

Women have been a vital part of the tech industry since the beginning, but somehow, they’re not only still underrepresented, but also leaving the tech field more rapidly. In addition, fewer and fewer women are entering tech, which further stunts gender diversity in the industry.

Although great changes and improvements are being made by companies to help women and other minorities feel more included, there is still a long way to go.

And while changes like these require a lot of work, the effort is much worth it, because having a more diverse workplace results in more innovation, creativity, and success.

What Women Bring Into Coding

The founder and CEO of the Hiveage, Lankitha Wimalarathna, says:

“It is critical to have diverse groups working to solve problems in our world today. The inclusion of women in coding not only promotes diversity but also leads to a wide range of benefits. Ethically, it is essential to have a fair representation of the population in decision-making positions. By having women actively involved in coding, ethical considerations are more likely to be addressed, resulting in technology that benefits everyone. ”

Let’s look at the practical side of the matter: what makes women great coders?

Women pioneers in coding:

  • Initially, women played a significant role in the beginning of computer programming, with 75% of Bletchley Park codebreakers and NASA engineers being women. Ada Lovelace is acknowledged as the world's first computer programmer.

  • Despite a historical presence, the coding industry is now perceived as male-dominated. However, the current shortage of skilled workers globally presents an opportunity to bridge the gender gap.

Communication skills in coding:

  • Success in programming relies on collaboration and communication. Women coders excel in conveying technical ideas to diverse audiences, demonstrating adaptability in tone and language.

  • Coding, essentially a conversation with a computer, benefits from women's attention to detail, enhancing code approval rates and facilitating effective collaboration.

Thinking outside the box:

  • Women in coding have natural problem-solving skills and think creatively

  • Diversity of thought is crucial in finding solutions, and women coders contribute innovative perspectives, making them adept at overcoming challenges in tech projects.

Adaptability and multi-tasking:

  • Adaptability, a crucial skill in the evolving digital world, comes naturally to women in coding. They excel in both independent and team settings, thriving in dynamic work environments.

  • Their resilience and ability to adapt swiftly contribute to the successful navigation of stressful or high-pressure situations in the programming world.

Highly creative coding:

  • Women coders bring creativity to software development, using their coding skills innovatively.

  • As they advance in their careers, women in coding focus on optimizing code for efficiency and readability, contributing to future innovations in the software development field.

Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Coding

While progress is being made, female programmers still face challenges that limit their opportunities. Good news - our society is quickly moving in the right direction to accommodate women in STEM. Let’s look at the problems they might be facing these days and what can be done.

According to the statistics, the reasons women leave the tech industry clearly show that company culture is one of the main problems. So what can be done to make it better?

In the workplace

A comfortable and welcoming workplace for many is a key to productivity. So it is essential to accommodate men and women equally. To address gender bias and underrepresentation in the workplace, companies need to actively promote gender diversity, implement equitable hiring practices, and provide support and mentorship programs. And, of course, transparency in salary discussions and promotions can help bridge the gender pay gap.


As in every field, networking is undoubtedly very important. So, it is crucial to create healthy and inclusive network systems. By showing support for one another, female programmers can create inviting and accepting communities that share knowledge, interests, and opportunities. In addition to this, various networking events and conferences for women in tech create spaces for collaboration, learning, and knowledge-sharing.

Accessible and unbiased education 

Learning plays a vital role in empowering women in their coding abilities. Providing training courses and coding boot camps specifically designed for women can bridge the skills gap and level the playing field. By offering equal opportunities for education and upskilling, the tech industry can bring out the potential of female coders.

Women in coding have a rich history, a vital presence, and a promising future. It is incredibly important to celebrate female coders, acknowledge their history, and empower them to fully realize their potential. Let’s inspire women who are perhaps doubting whether they can fit in the world of programming to build an accepting and healthy society with equal opportunities for everyone!

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