Why we launched a Women Who Code initiative

Written by Amanda Connon-Unda

Women in tech workforce

With a range of stats suggesting women represent only 25% of employees in tech, with an even smaller percentage of women who code, Rangle.io is committed to actively working against the gender imbalance one initiative at a time. With this commitment in mind, my colleagues and I recently launched a contest to ensure that talented women who code are represented at the upcoming Angular U conference in San Francisco (June 22-23). With low female attendance numbers across the board at developer events, we want to send one more woman to a conference and generate dialogue on diversity within the web development field. We believe it is vitally important to proactively engage more women in our industry and our companies.

Web developers who identify as women are encouraged to enter our contest for a chance to win a return flight, a 2-day ticket for Angular U conference, and hotel booking. Entry is done simply by answering a few questions about their interest in the conference at go.rangle.io/women.

Rangle.io is now continuing the dialogue on important issues such as gender socialization, barriers to access in education and career advancement, and some of the more subtle self-perpetuating social dynamics that contribute to the gender gap.

"In building Rangle.io as a diverse company in one of the world's most diverse cities, I always imagined we would do fine in hiring and building a strong female core. However when we stopped and looked at the facts once we hit 50 people, we realized we needed to be more proactive to reach our goals- not just as a company but as an industry.” - CEO Nick Van Weerdenburg.

Women in tech workforce
Rangle.io's female employees, June 2015

The issue of gender diversity in tech is ongoing and complex

There have been several recent high profile events triggering news coverage on the topic, for example, Ellen Pao's lawsuit case against one of Silicon Valley's most famous venture capital firms for gender discrimintation, Tim Cook's recent commentary on Apple's gender diversity issues, and many other relevant examinations of subtle descrimination at work in the tech industry, such as Ann Friedman's report, and Ciara Byrne's essay on the loneliness she's faced as a female developer in a male dominated industry.

There is plenty of hope for the industry

In Toronto recently, our fellow agency, The Working Group launched an interesting initiative in partnership with Tech Girls Canada, and there are several women's coding groups on the go, including local chapters of Women Who Code, Ladies Learning Code, Rails Girls, Dames Making Games, and Girl Geeks. Across Canada, there are many other groups galvanized around the broader inclusion of women in tech: Lean in Canada; SheEo; hErVoluion; and Canadian Women in Tech.

Every year there are more events such as Gather North, a getaway for women who create the web, and FITC's annual Women's Iniaitive at their flagship Toronto conference.

Meanwhile across the border and internationally, many groups are working at the issues relentlessly: Women 2.0; Girls Who Code; Girls in Tech; Women in Technology; Wired Women Society and coding groups such as Pyladies.

When we look at some of the most powerful women in the world, they're in tech, and there is a case to be made that diversity improves our businesses and the culture of our businesses.

We've seen incredibly rapid growth here at Rangle.io since 2013. Our business is based on working with startups and companies in many verticals to develop and design their MVPs, upgrade their tech stacks, and train them on Agile software development, through continuous improvement and the coherent formation of teams. With the leadership of our CEO Nick Van Weerdenburg and our core team, we've learned that amazing teams rely on the trust amongst their members, and having transparent communication in place. It's because of our approch to business, and the relationships we build with the companies that we have the pleasure to work with, that Rangle.io has has seen incredible evolution. We’re building a very unique culture and we want it to include more women.

To accommodate our growing team we will be moving into a large 3-floor brick and beam office in the heart of the downtown-Toronto tech industry hub this September. Stay tuned for more news from us, as our journey continues! If you're interested in joining us, please consider applying for any of our job openings here.