International Women’s Day: Girls at Code Club

On International Women’s Day and every day, Raspberry Pi and Code Club are determined to support girls and women to fulfil their potential in the field of computing.

Code Club provides computing opportunities for kids aged nine to eleven within their local communities, and 40 percent of the children attending our 5000-plus UK clubs are girls. Code Club aims to inspire them to get excited about computer science and digital making, and to help them develop the skills and knowledge to succeed.

Big Birthday Bash Code Club Raspberry Pi Bag

Code Club’s broad appeal

From the very beginning, Code Club was designed to appeal equally to girls and boys. Co-founder Clare Sutcliffe describes how she took care to avoid anything that evoked gendered stereotypes:

When I was first designing Code Club – its brand, tone of voice and content – it was all with a gender-neutral feel firmly in mind. Anything that felt too gendered was ditched.

The resources that children use are selected to have broad appeal, engaging a wide range of interests. Code Club’s hosts and volunteers provide an environment that is welcoming and supportive.

Two girls coding at Code Club

A crucial challenge for the future is to sustain an interest in computing in girls as they enter their teenage years. As in other areas of science, technology, engineering and maths; early success for girls doesn’t yet feed through into pursuing higher qualifications or entering related careers in large numbers. What can we all do to make sure that interested and talented young women know that this exciting field is for them?


Richard avatar

Still a lot of work to do to address the gender imbalance in computing but looks as if the code club team are doing a great job. :)

DiyRPi avatar

It’s nice to see Code Club go the extra mile on Women’s Day! It’s important that all children have the opportunity to learn and it’s important for more makerspaces, schools and libraries to try to get involved and take part in educating the youth. I wish I had an after school program to learn about computing and making projects. I tip my hat to everyone out there making a difference in children’s lives.

Jim Manley avatar

I wish that all of the ladies going to protests that day, instead invested the time attending Code Club and other double-X chromosome friendly STEM educational events, especially in company with younger ladies as an example of what empowerment really means – enjoying useful as well as intellectually-satisfying education and career opportunities. Just ranting about demands for this and that on a few days a year doesn’t accomplish nearly as much.

We have a Code Club in our schools where we expose students to simple STEM, tech, and Maker principles no later than fourth grade (unless they’re transferring in from less forward-thinking districts) because after that, peer pressure starts on girls. It takes the form of, “Oh, you don’t want to be too smart, because then you’ll know more than the boys. Then, they won’t like you, you won’t be asked to go on dates, you’ll never have a boyfriend, you’ll never get married, and you’ll never have children and grandchildren … ” I am deadly serious as I have overheard conversations at that age level on this subject – it’s pretty scary!

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