Event aims to spread message that computers aren’t just for the boys

For the second consecutive year, young females in Saint John got a chance to see exactly how computers work at Girls Learn to Code Day.

In what is typically a male-dominated field, IT professionals are spearheading an initiative to encourage girls to give computer technology a try.

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“Women are underrepresented in IT and they might be more reluctant than men to learn how to code or go to a place where they can learn how to code,” Susan Almon, the lead for the Saint John chapter of Ladies Learning Code, said . “We find the same thing with girls.”

In her efforts to encourage young women to pursue a career in the computer sector, Almon has noticed many don’t immediately consider it an option, despite computers being so prevalent in our society.

She hopes to change that by getting girls interested at a young age.

“I was in an event a few weeks ago for high school girls where we talked about careers and a lot of the girls were saying, ‘Well, I don’t really know about computers,’” she said. “And I was thinking, ‘Well you could. There’s no reason why you can’t.’ So programs like this counter that.”

Now in its second year in the Port City, the initiative has grown from a handful of attendees last year to over 20 this time around.

Almon says the success comes from showing the girls that working with computers can be a lot of fun.

“Part of our goal is for these girls to go home, back to their schools, back to their soccer teams, their girl guide groups – and say, ‘Wow, that was really cool, I made a game all by myself,’” she explained.

Girls Learn to Code Day is a Canada-wide initiative that takes place in cities across the country.

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