There is a large gender gap within specific programs in the student community as well as the work field. Computer science, engineering, and programming are mutual examples of male dominant areas of expertise. Women are not as encouraged to explore such programs and that’s why Donna Todd member of Ladies that UX, in the London Chapter, is taking action.
Ladies that UX is a community of talented women as well as men who build relationships and personal support. The group aims to encourage women and minorities in the work field by coming together and sharing each other’s experiences. Todd was inspired when she attended a UX meet-up where the group watched a documentary on women in the work field.
Many women are afraid to chase interests like computer science, programming or engineering because of the gender gap. Without trying to pursue the art of science it is easy to feel like an impossible dream. CODE is an event that was held on September 13th by Donna Todd, a member of the Ladies that UX, to support and motivate women to follow their dreams despite the gender gap. The event featured a documentary as well as a panel discussion with experts in computer science, engineering, and male dominant interests. CODE carried conversations that inspired women to pursue computer science as well as other male dominant programs.
Donna Todd says this is what she would tell women who are interested in computer science but are discouraged, “I would honestly tell her to find someone who has already gone through that someone who can mentor her through that kind of situation. I think the hardest part as a woman is knowing how to handle certain situations and if you can find someone who is a strong motivator who has gone through that, that’s the best way.”
Todd says London has several groups and meet-ups to help reassure and embolden women in similar situations, including the Ladies that UX.
“James Edwards, the chair of Fanshawe’s school of information and technology will be one of the four speakers who will be involved during the discussion panel. Todd adds, “they will be discussing what they think of the documentary and how women and girls can get involved as well as other minorities.”
Todd, member of the Ladies that UX talks about the changes communities and public schools should make in order to empower women and minorities to get more involved.
“Coding needs to be taught earlier in schools just the basic principle not the actual fact of sitting down at a computer and typing out information.”
Donna Todd goes on to say that technical jobs does not always mean decoding and working with math and science.
“As far as what can be done right now I think that the programs available can be directed to encouraging women and girls. Women need to recognize that they don’t have to excel is math or excel in science to be able to contribute and also have a technical job.” Todd believes the London community is off to a strong start in diminishing gender gaps.
There are ways to get involved and start small to help build confidence and knowledge in technical world. Gender does not determine strength or ability for any job or education. Strength and ability comes from passion, drive, effort and hard work. Anyone has the ability to pursue anything with a positive mindset and willpower.