We often ask ourselves why women are so scarce in engineering, or why 97% of the resumes that we receive every month come from men. We immediately think of all the components that mold us that treat males and females differently: education, marketing, the entertainment industry, even the toys we give our girls. All of this seems insurmountable, and it's easy to give up.
But it’s worth taking a look at what we can do to change those statistics, as small as our actions may seem, in order to form a more inclusive work environment. If all we do is sit quietly and complain to ourselves, we are only contributing to the problem. It’s crucial that we create spaces exclusively for women, not out of courtesy, but because of the great things women can bring to the table if given the opportunity.
Sophilabs co-founder Pablo Ricco had the chance to visit the Django Girls stand at PyCon in 2017, and he was inspired by what he saw. Django Girls is a nonprofit organization that helps organize free, one-day programming workshops by and for women. It's run by volunteers and aims "to bring more amazing women into the world of technology" by "making technology more approachable" and "creating resources designed with empathy."
Pablo thought this was a fantastic idea and wanted bring Django Girls to Montevideo. Upon hearing about Django Girls, sophilabs Talent Manager Victoria Burghi was immediately enthusiastic about hosting a workshop. She began organizing it right away, putting in many volunteer hours to get this project off the ground. She involved female developers from other companies as well, inviting them to take part in the event as mentors.
When we first started looking into hosting our own Django Girls workshop, we had no idea it would be so successful. We considered it a labor of love. Soon after sharing the event on social media, however, we had a great response. Many women were interested in participating and very excited by the opportunity.
There was a great turn-out at the very first Django Girls Montevideo, with participants between the ages of 16 and 50 from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Groups of four to five women were assigned a mentor who guided their learning progress throughout the day. The air was buzzing with the energy of many brains at work, and it was great to witness these bright women take their first steps in programming.
In launching Django Girls Montevideo, we strive to do our part to contribute to gender equality in engineering and technology. We hope Django Girls Montevideo will continue to inspire women to enter software development and bring their innovative ideas to the field.
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