When asked about the importance of teaching coding to children, Victoria Lennox, of Startup Canada says it best: “It’s very important for boys and girls to give coding a try and to have the opportunity to learn how to code and create what they’re interfacing with.”
In Part 3 of our series, we discuss the opportunity given to the young women and men who learn how to code. Check out Part 1 of our conversation with Victoria, which focuses on Canadian Entrepreneurship and Part 2, which is all about the importance of learning how to code in our changing economic landscape!
Do you see a lot of women in tech-related roles? Why do you think it’s important for boys and girls to give coding a try?
I’m really lucky, because I do see a lot of women in tech-related roles. But that’s because I’m in the sector. I don’t see women in tech roles to the degree that I see men in tech roles. In particular, I don’t see women at the higher echelons in the tech community, nor do I see them scaling as aggressively and rapidly, or supported as much as their male counterparts. So, we have a lot of work to do!
I think it’s very important for boys and girls to give coding a try and to have the opportunity to learn how to code and create what they’re interfacing with. Studies have shown that women are more likely to engage on social media and use the internet more widely than men. However, men are the ones that are creating the experience and are programming the backend of all of these social channels. You have the marketing side and the development side, and the development side is usually a room full of guys hacking away.
If women are engaging and part of that whole community more than men insofar as using these resources, their experiences will be much richer if they can build them and contribute their unique perspectives.
A lot of young people and young women use technology to learn. Why is it important to learn how technology works?
Knowing how technology itself works is empowering. It creates accessibility. It opens up new opportunities. And it allows women to realize their full potential, without any limits - whether they’re real or perceived. Programs like the ones provided by Hatch Canada help to inspire confidence to open up new opportunities and to show women and girls that it is possible and that opportunities can be as boundless as ideas. The sky's the limit!
What worries me is that the systemic change required in our education ecosystems and institutions across Canada - it’s very slow to ensure that our academic infrastructure is producing and equipping and empowering our students with the skills that they need for tomorrow. It’s very important that Hatch Canada be there to be able to provide those opportunities where academic institutions can’t. And when academic institutions and board of directors and school boards are ready, then Hatch can be there for them, too.
I think that Hatch Canada has an opportunity to continue to raise awareness about the importance of digital literacy programming and coding as a core Canadian competency, and encouraging this shift as a nation in their education system. I applaud the work that you’re doing and I wish to see great collaboration between Startup Canada and Hatch Canada in encouraging and supporting every entrepreneur to have the opportunity to gain the coding and programming skills that they’ll need for the future.
Victoria, thank you so much for your words. We are looking forward to continuing to build Hatch Canada to provide the opportunities that you are passionate about. We are looking forward to finding ways to work together as well.
Are you a woman who works in tech? Do you send your kids to Hatch? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about Victoria’s sentiments.
Hatch offers more than just teaching code. At Hatch, your children will see a new world opened to them, and learn about different opportunities for their future. Learn more about camps, weekly classes and after-school programs. Sign-up today!