Scotland’s national digital skills academy is partnering with a charity organisation to help address the gender gap in the tech sector.

CodeClan will work with The Young Women’s Movement, Scotland’s national organisation for young women leadership and gender equality, and Scotland Women in Technology (SWIT), to help get more women into careers in tech.  

Research commissioned by CodeClan – and funded by the Workplace Equality Fund – identified a number of barriers and challenges facing women entering and progressing within the digital technology sector when CodeClan students, alumni, and staff members were interviewed by The Young Women’s Movement between November 2022 and February 2023. 

Jenni Snell, CEO of The Young Women’s Movement, said: “We hope the recommendations can help other organisations, in and out of the tech industry, to prioritise promoting an inclusive workplace culture for young women. Diversity and a skilled workforce go hand in hand, we cannot address one without the other. Closing the digital skills gap is dependent on empowering women and girls of all backgrounds to enter into, and progress in, digital technology careers.”

CodeClan CEO Loral Quinn said: “We wanted to do a deep dive into our offering to shine a light on how we can better evolve to meet the needs of women, including young women, on both our training programmes and our staff team.”

In direct response to the survey findings, CodeClan is set to launch on demand digital skills courses in September to better meet the flexibility sought out by women across Scotland.

Quinn said: “On demand means we can offer immersive courses, whether or not you live near one of our campuses or have difficulty committing to set timetables because of other life commitments. It means women can access life-changing courses, laying the path for a career in tech, and we help them get jobs.” 

CodeClan is partnering with SWIT to support the launch of the first cohort of women into its on demand Data Science course starting in the autumn, with fully funded places for over 60 women returners and career changers.  

Silka Patel, founder and Chair of Scotland Women in Technology, which is partnering with CodeClan on the launch of the Women in Data Science programme, said: “CodeClan’s push in Scotland maps with our own mission to help more women break into and excel within the tech industry, while eliminating the gender diversity gap.”

Ana Stewart, chair and co-author of the Scottish Government-commissioned Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship review, said: “The collaborative approach embraced by CodeClan, Young Women’s Movement, and SWIT provides a blueprint for other organisations to have a bigger impact when making their workplaces more inclusive and supportive of women.  Less than one in ten tech businesses are led by women, so this sort of initiative is needed to shift the dial and will contribute to achieving much wider female participation in tech and startups.”