It’s like the news isn’t getting out to young women as they choose a career path in high school. Choose a career in technology and you can look forward to a great future doing creative work with super cool people. Plus you’ll be paid really well.

Maybe it’s an image problem. We see lots of amazing women doctors and teachers portrayed in the media. But very few female tech leaders.

That’s changing. I was so happy to see this article on CBC.ca today: Female PHDs replace models on clothing companies website:

Female Computer Engineering PHD student is modelling a shirt-dress for Betabrand.com

Very cool Computer Engineering PHD is modelling for BetaBrand.com

It’s chic to be geek

This is really important because technology jobs pay very well and we have a shortage of tech workers. We especially have a shortage of female tech workers. Possibly due to of the stereotypes around nerds and geeks that are not so appealing to young woman.

But that’s changing fast. Now we have Merissa Mayer who accepted a position as CEO for Yahoo when she was 7 months pregnant. And we have the amazing Heather Payne who started Ladies Learning Code right here in Toronto. Now it’s chic to be geek.

That’s why I feel inspired to tell you about some other great initiatives right here in Toronto and beyond that are empowering woman to embrace the idea of choosing technology as a career.

Ladies Learning Code

Heather Payne, founder of Ladies Learning Code

Heather Payne is the founder of Ladies Learning Code, Hacker You, Learning Labs, Girls Learning Code and Kids Learning Code. http://HeatherPayne.ca

Heather Payne is the founder of Ladies Learning Code,  a Toronto-based not-for-profit startup that runs wildly popular workshops for women (and men) who want to learn computer programming and other technical skills in a social and collaborative way.

Recently, Payne founded Learning Labs with chapters all across Canada. She also founded HackerYou to bring more learning experiences around technology, startups and entrepreneurship to Toronto.

I’ve attended some awesome Ladies Learning Code workshops that had a 1 to 4 ratio of mentors to students.

The volunteer mentors were coders from Toronto companies. I’m sure that some of them were there to scout out new tech talent. It’s amazing to see these mentors dedicate an entire Saturday to helping people learn marketable skills like Python, Ruby and Javascript.

SkillCrush.com

Adda Birnir is also on a mission to help women launch careers in technology. She’s the Founder and CEO of Skillcrush and the creator of Digital Career Blueprints.

In this 6 minute video, Birnir clearly explains the skills you need to learn to launch a career in web design or web development. Skillcrush also offers a free 10 day bootcamp to help you get started.

Learning with Skillcrush Career Blueprints is great if you can afford the $399 cost, which is extremely reasonable for what you get. But don’t worry if you can’t afford Skillcrush because you can learn most of these skills for free or almost free online.

Other programs empowering women to embrace technology careers

Do you know of any other people, programs or groups out there that are helping women see the creative opportunities available to them if they pursue a career in technology? I’d love to learn about them.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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