Code First Girls aims to boost women in tech leadership roles

ech diversity champions Code First Girls have today launched their Mid-Level Accelerator (MLA) course, aimed to develop and accelerate women’s technology careers. 

Currently, women make up 19% of Information Technology and 30% of web design professionals in the UK – but this drops to just 5% when it comes to women holding leadership positions in the sector.  And, according to DDI’s 2023 Global Leadership Forecast, this number is set to fall even further across the entire sector, as global data shows that the number of women in tech leadership roles is trending down.

Despite efforts to get more women into the tech industry, equitable progression continues to be an issue. Women in technical roles are still less likely than men to win promotions early in their careers, with only 52 women being promoted to manager for every 100 men at the same level. This compares with 86 women for every 100 men across all job types. 

With 70% of women believing the best way for companies to support women in tech teams and promote retention is through upskilling, having equitable growth opportunities through projects or training is fundamental to ensuring the industry is as diverse as it can be. 

As it stands, 50% of women in tech leave their roles before the age of 35, with only 38% of women working in the industry saying they have been given the opportunity to upskill or receive training at work. 

To counter this, Code First Girls is introducing a new 12-week MLA course, aimed at those with over two years of experience in tech, that will support women to upskill and progress into a mid-level Engineering or Developer roles whilst also having the opportunity to re-skill to a new specialism or develop mid-level specialist tech skills. 

Developed alongside industry professionals, this specialised course was created directly out of focus groups and roundtables held with a number of Code First Girls’ 130+ partners, including NatWest, BAE Systems, GCHQ, and Deloitte, who called for a solution to help them promote, progress, and retain their mid-level talent. 

Says Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls:

“Getting women into tech is just the first hurdle – retaining them in the industry and ultimately seeing them lead it are the next ones. With many women coders leaving their roles due to no clear pathway or progression, the MLA course will be fundamental in helping businesses to retain the female tech talent they desperately need. 

“And, with the UK continuing to suffer from an ever-growing skills gap, supporting women to progress in their careers will not only benefit the individuals, but will ensure that our vital tech industry is able to grow and succeed.”

Code First Girls is now the largest provider of free coding courses for women in the UK, having taught five times as many women to code as the entire UK university undergraduate system.

Chris Price