Two female students from Salonica Law School in Greece have founded their own company aimed at closing the gender gap in technological skills and programming in their home country. The women, Anastasia Siapka and Maria Dermetzi, were originally trying to start an unrelated business, but after much research, they realized they have never been equipped with the necessary tech skills to do so. A quick internet search revealed that all the available tech info online was in English (and therefore inaccessible to many who only spoke Greek). Thus, the two entrepreneurs took matters into their own hands.
Siapka and Dermetzi founded Code It Like A Girl. The aim of the company is to provide women with basic technological knowledge and skills including coding techniques, setting up blogs and websites, and programming. Within a few months, they had made a website for their new program and began organizing seminars for women in Greece to attend. 21-year-old Siapka told an interviewer that everyone from young adult women to those all the way up into their 60s have shown interested in participating in the program.
The company has continued to grow since its creation and will soon be a taking a leap into becoming a social cooperative enterprise. Siapka and Dermetzi were also awarded the Angelopolous–Clinton Global Initiative University Fellowship, which gave them €10,000 to travel to the United States for an international conference, where they got to discuss their ideas with other like-minded, successful young females.
Code It Like A Girl is not only doing a great service for the women of Greece, but for women in the technological field in general. Studies show that only 30% of IT employees in Europe are female. Additionally, it has been shown that fewer women are going into higher education for science related subjects, and those who do are often put into skill groups that are undervalued and underutilized compared to that of their male colleagues. This new company is helping bridge the gender gap and giving confidence to women who are interested in the field, but never had a way to break into it before now. These two women are proving just how possible and rewarding it can be to turn a problem into a solution.
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