Coding upskills regional women

Coding upskills regional women

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She Codes technical lead Hayley van Waas (left), participants Jacinta Behrend, Djuarli Taylor, Abby Carter, Rachel Burford, Anika Rundle and She Codes operations lead Holly Keogh.

She Codes technical lead Hayley van Waas (left), participants Jacinta Behrend, Djuarli Taylor, Abby Carter, Rachel Burford, Anika Rundle and She Codes operations lead Holly Keogh.

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A first of its kind, the six month coding and technology course aims to upskill women in regional and remote communities.

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WHILE writing code may allude many, it's now understood by the six graduates of the She Codes Pilbara Plus program that wrapped up in early November.

A first of its kind, the six month coding and technology course aims to upskill women in regional and remote communities.

The brainchild of founder Kate Kirwin, She Codes was created after she started getting interested in the technology space, but found there wasn't a supportive community where she could grow her skills - so she decided to create one.

"I was teaching myself how to code and found that there were no communities that existed that were really friendly and welcoming to a, beginners and b, women," Ms Kirwin said.

Previously running day courses in regional towns such as Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha and Port Hedland, Ms Kirwin noticed there was a great interest and need for a longer running program in regional areas.

In partnership with BHP, the Port Hedland Web Business HUB and Regional Economic Development Grants Program, she was able to launch the longer program to upskill women in a way that works with their lives.

Port Hedland mother of two Jacinta Behrend found that the workforce was moving towards more technology roles and wanted to expand her skillset to suit that change.

"I thought that tech roles were difficult to access being up here and when this came up it seemed to cater towards women and I wouldn't have to disrupt my family life to pursue something different," Ms Behrend said.

Throughout the course the women learnt how to build websites and manage data, which could be used across various industries including mining and agriculture.

"Learning how to look at data and process that data more efficiently in python has some really interesting applications in the agriculture space," Ms Kirwin said.

"It allows you to track data on farms, such as livestock or crops, making sure you are running efficiently."

Ms Kirwin sees the untapped potential and possibilities in regional communities and she hopes that other business programs will continue to run outside of the capital cities.

"I think particularly for the Pilbara, there is so much that is mining focused and for anyone who doesn't want to do mining there are not a lot of opportunities,'' she said.

"There are many women who get left behind because they want to stay at home with their families, or they want to have their own career that's separate from driving a truck on a mine, where are the opportunities for those people?

"Even though it may be hard work to do stuff in the regions I think it's super important."

  • For more information about future She Codes programs head to shecodes.com.au

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