A Canadian non-profit organization has been successfully teaching technology skills to women in Halifax for the past several years, with no signs of slowing down.
Ladies Learning Code hosts monthly workshops on subjects such as HTML and web design, with an eye toward women being creators of digital content.
The latest event on Saturday saw about 40 women attend a six-hour WordPress and blogging seminar at Volta Labs on Barrington Street.
Instructor Gabrielle White said there's a long history of technology being oriented more toward men and computers being a male-dominated industry.
"I think that a lot of women just don't know that it's out there and that it's something that they can learn on their own," she said.
"I think a lot of people feel fairly intimidated when it comes to tinkering around with your computer and using different tools to create and publish your own content."
Also for kids
White said Ladies Learning Code strives to be collaborative and supportive, with a 4-to-1 student-to-mentor ratio.
"Women really succeed when they're able to be more social learners and collaborate together, which is why we kind of group everyone into small groups instead of seated singly," she said.
Jen Liu, who is the lead peer of the Halifax chapter, said about 500 people a year take a class at one of the Halifax chapter's workshops, which also include Kids Learning Code for children between eight and 13.
Liu said it's harder to get motivated when people try to teach themselves alone.
"To see them learn how to code and have the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, that's the most beautiful part for me," she said.
Easier to ask questions
Kothai Kumanan had taken her children to previous workshops and turned up Saturday because she wanted to try the adult version.
She said she has brought her daughters, ages eight and 11, because she wants them to know that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are options for them.
"I have very purposefully brought my girls here for the reason that it is a predominantly female environment. I don't know if I want to admit this ... but I certainly would say that if I were sitting in a co-ed classroom, I wouldn't ask as many questions," she said.