St. Louis has a computer programmer shortage. More startups are moving here. But there aren’t enough people to hire. One woman has the answer.
“I’m a tech recruiter, so all day im looking for computer programmers. [The] majority are men,” Colleen Liebig said.
She is trying to shatter the computer programmer glass ceiling for women in St. Louis by starting a new computer coding class just for women. She’s calling it Coder Girl. She said 95 percent of all computer programmers are men.
“The tech industry is daunting to women. Women don’t know many other women who are computer programmers,” she said.
Liebig works at a startup in Downtown St. Louis called Cultivation Capital.
“Being a woman gives you leverage. It’s such a rarity to have a female computer programmer,” she said.
Liebig posted the class on her Facebook page and she’s already had more than a hundred women who are interested. Eighty of them have signed up. She said some women are already webbies and techies, others are teachers, marketing professionals and some, like Jasmine White, don’t have any computer experience at all.
“‘Ive always been a computer geek since I was a kid,” she said.
White doesn’t have a job, but she sees the coding classes as her pathway to a career she could live and work in for a long time. She didn’t make it to the computer coding classes Launch Code started at the St. Louis Public Library. She said she was intimidated.
Liebig believes it’s one reason why women aren’t going into the male-dominated tech world. She and the women she’s signed up will all take the Harvard Intro to Computer programming.
“This course will teach you how to build a website, how to build your own app,” She said.
It could help women become entrepreneurs and turn their ideas into businesses.
“Cool! A bunch of girls getting together, learning code making websites, girl power!” White said.
Girl Power could change the tech world dynamic in St. Louis. Liebig said men in the tech world can’t wait to welcome more women in their companies.
Liebig said the class is as hard and as easy as learning a new language. Once you get it, you can talk the code talk. She said the women have a year to finish, but 90 percent of people who take the class in groups pass it in three to four months.
For more information on how to register or get further information, check out the Coder Girl Facebook page. You can also contact Colleen Liebig at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the contact list for the course.
SOURCE: Farrah Fazal, KSDK.com