Gender equality in tech doesn’t just apply to the workplace—it has to start in the classroom. That’s why BrainStation is starting an initiative to make tech education a more inclusive space for women.
BrainStation is an alternative educational institution offering courses in all areas of tech. Based out of Toronto, BrainStation is offering two scholarships in partnership with Techvibes in an effort to create a more equal classroom demographic.
The first scholarship, called the Techvibes Women on The Rise Scholarship, is awarded to one woman and will fully cover tuition. The second is an automatic $500 off full-time courses, starting this cohort, for any woman registered with BrainStation courses. BrainStation will continue this initiative until the ratio of men to women in classrooms is equal.
“We offer seven part time classes in Toronto, Waterloo and Vancouver as well and the ratio of men to women in our part-time departments is definitely 50/50 across the board,” says Nicole Millward, who’s in business development and operations at BrainStation, “but for our full-time program still stays very heavily male dominated.”
“I think it’s fair that our full-time program be 50/50 as well,” says Millward.
Not all of tech is still exclusively a boy’s club; there are some areas that are starting to see more and more successful women, and other areas that remain predominantly male. Areas like project management, digital marketing, and visual design are starting to see a more equal ratio of men and women, says Trilby Goouch, marketing manager at BrainStation.
“It’s interesting, a lot of our courses, especially digital marketing, we do have a lot of women, and some of our courses I think we have more women than men,” says Goouch. But she says that in areas like web development and coding, there is a significant lack of women involved. Goouch feels that this has to do with women feeling intimidated by coding.
“I think that we’re [women] kind of taught at school from a young age that guys are good at math and girls are good at writing or drawing,” says Goouch. “Coding just seems like more of a thing for the male brain, which is totally not true. It’s just based off perceptions that have always been around.” Goouch thinks that if more women take coding classes, they’ll realize that they are just as capable of excelling in that field.
Goouch hopes that BrainStation will make technical skills accessible to all women, even if they are in fields like fashion or art, which can seem removed from technology. “I want to highlight the benefits of pairing creativity and coding,” says Goouch.
“We’re doing what we can to take away the gender gap so that more women feel empowered to enter the tech industry as web developers,” says Millward, “so that after graduating they too will be able to inspire other women to enter the industry.
To apply to the scholarship at BrainStation, interested applicants need to make an account and apply for the Web Development Immersive course on the BrainStation website. Be sure to mention that you heard about the scholarship from Techvibes.