Rails Girls Galway’s coding workshop narrows IT gender gap
Software developer and MSc student at Sheffield Hallam University Stefania Farrugia teaches some Ruby programming at the recent Rails Girls Galway event. Photo via Rails Girls Galway Twitter page, @railsgirls_galw

Rails Girls Galway’s coding workshop narrows IT gender gap

27 May 2013

Galway’s deputy mayor and a chief organiser of Rails Girls Galway have stressed the importance of initiatives that teach women how to code, and it seems women are listening: a recent Rails Girls Galway workshop drew 130 women from across Ireland to Galway.

Councillor Frank Fahy, Deputy Mayor of Galway City, launched the event, of which Myriam Leggieri, a PhD student with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway is a chief organiser.

Leggieri said women tend to hold back and the reasons that keep women from entering IT are numerous.

“Mainly the same stereotype that depicts boys playing with cars and girls playing with dolls, applies in computer science,” Leggieri said.

“Only the 25pc of information and technology (IT) jobs are held by women; only 11pc of the Fortune 500 companies have women executives and only 5pc of tech start-ups are owned by women.”

Leggieri also cited research that revealed that groups with greater diversity to solve problems better and faster than homogeneous groups are more efficient and more experimental.

“Also women have demonstrated to positively influence growth and efficiency. Women-operated, venture-backed companies have 12pc higher revenues than the average, and women entrepreneurs begin with about one-eighth of the funding of male-owned ventures. Consequently, the IT gender gap seems to deserve attention,” Leggieri said.

At the end of the Rails Girls Galway workshop, each participant had designed and implemented a web application.

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s year-long campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths

Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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