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7 March 2022

Best documentaries about women in tech

Marta Aguilar - Head of Social Media

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A background in technology such as web design and coding opens many career doors such as video game design, business analytics, digital marketing, web development, animation, graphics, product design, and more. Despite the potential of these careers for job satisfaction and generous pay packets, there is still a notable shortage of women working in tech industries. Recent figures highlight the fact that only around 5% of CEO positions in the tech industry are filled by women. These five documentaries were created to be a source of inspiration for women thinking of technology as a career path whether they're interested in being engineers or entrepreneurs. If these documentaries have inspired you, check out our Ironhack courses in web development, data analytics, and UX/UI Design.

1. Chasing Grace Project (2017)

Getting smart women into tech can be difficult, but retaining them can sometimes be even harder. Twice as many women as men leave the tech world despite really loving their jobs. Jennifer Cloer spent many months talking to such women and asking them why they left. She then used her research to launch the Chasing Grace Project,a six-episode documentary about women in tech. Each episode focuses on a different topic such as entrepreneurship, accessing the best jobs, and harassment in the workplace or online.

The name of the series was inspired by Grace Hopper who was a rear admiral in the US Navy as well as being a leading pioneer in computer science. Jennifer Cloer hopes women will watch the episodes and be inspired by how the women featured overcame adversities. They'll be given the confidence to overcome their own difficulties and achieve career success.

2. CodeGirl (2015)

While the Chasing Grace Project focuses on why women leave the tech world, CodeGirl focuses on encouraging them to get involved in STEM and choose related careers. Directed by Lesley Chilcott, CodeGirlfollows teams of girls around the world as they take part in the Technovation Challenge. Held annually, this highly-respected competition invites girls of high-school age to learn new technology skills and use them to build mobile apps that solve real-world problems such as supporting those living with Alzheimer's and tackling climate change. Since its launch in 2010, over 5,000 girls from 60 countries have taken part in the challenge, and Chilcott documents their journey from identifying a problem to creating their app.

3. She Started It (2016)

In the award-winning feature-length documentary She Started It, five young women (Thuy Truong, Brienne Ghafourifar, Stacey Ferreira, Agathe Molinar, and Sheena Allen) are followed over two years as they pursue their dreams of breaking into the world of tech startups. It was shot in New York City, San Francisco, Mississippi, France, and Vietnam, with the aim of showcasing inspirational female tech entrepreneurs. Directed by Nora Poggi and Insiyah Saeed.

lt it's the first film to give a graphic illustration of the ups and downs young women have to go through and doesn't shy away from filming the self-doubt and aversion to risk, traits that hold many young women back. The five young protagonists show endless grit and determination as they break into a male-dominated world, pitching ideas, putting teams together, designing products. The value of failing and starting again is also shown as ambitious plans are turned into reality. Also featured are interviews with women who have achieved success in the world of tech and eCommerce such as Megan Smith, Debbie Sterling, and Ruchi Sanghvi.

4. Code: Debugging the Gender Gap (2015)

Directed by Robin Hauser Reynolds, Code: Debugging the Gender Gap focuses on the shortage of female and minority engineers and designers in the American tech industries and attempts to give an explanation for this. The documentary opens with an important question, 'What would society gain from having more minorities and women in tech?' Interviews with tech entrepreneurs from popular brands are recorded while the steps being made to make the programming community more diverse are shown.

Much of this film is both eye-opening and awareness-raising. For example, it looks at why many products are designed to be unisex but are unsuccessful because they're designed by men to meet male specifications! Examples of this include early car airbags that injured women and voice-recognition software that didn't recognize the female voice.

5. Go Against the Flow (2016)

Directed by Raeshib Aggerwhil and Charu Sharma Go Against the Flow is a short documentary film comprised of interviews with US and UK female entrepreneurs. They share their success stories at startups such as Getaround, Cloudflare, Mightybell, and more. In a similar vein to other documentaries about women in tech, Go Against the Flow stresses that it's not enough to just have a good idea. Hard work, determination, resilience, and courage are also needed. Despite its short length, this film inspires women to dive into their dreams.

Get Into Tech

The gender gap is tech isn't going away overnight, but the industry is opening its eyes to the lack of diversity among its workforce. The best thing you can do, as a woman, to break down the barrier is to get into tech!

Did you know that from top to bottom Ironhack's staff are 55% women? We work hard to make sure that absolutely everyone regardless of gender, nationality, ethnicity, or background are welcome at Ironhack. And we can help you launch the tech career of your dreams!

Check out our bootcamps and start your journey into tech.

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