The Women Who Are Leaving Their Jobs To Discover Coding

The coding and technology sector is one that male employees have long dominated, and there are masses of statistics that can showcase this disparity to its full extent. One such stat came from the global software developer survey in 2022 which found that a whopping 91.88% of all software developers are male.

With such a statistic, it is hardly surprising that many women have simply never envisioned themselves with a job in tech – the sentiment is still a fairly new and unexplored one.

But recently, several women have shared their stories on why they have begun to buck the stereotypical trend and kickstart a new career path in coding. At a time when the global tech industry is suffering from downsizing and economic struggle, this change is truly more important now than ever for the survival of the sector.

A Look At The Statistics

A closer look at the statistics shows just how long and prominent the gender gap in the coding sector has been.

Studies show that women are generally a lot less likely to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) than men. In technology particularly, there is a major skills gap. As things currently stand, there will only be one qualified woman for every 115 tech roles by 2025.

But although the numbers show that there has long been a disparity in the number of women in the industry, things are beginning to change.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2021 15,000 more women were working as programmers and software developers in the UK than in the previous year. Records show that the number of women working as web designers has also increased by almost 10,000.

But why has it taken so long for female employment levels to rise in the tech sector, and what is it that’s encouraging this change?

“I Assumed It Was A Geeky, Guy’s Job”: Changing Attitudes To Tech

A change in the technology and coding sector will certainly not take place overnight, however, many women have decided to make a change to these long-standing male-dominated statistics.

One such woman is Glasgow-based Jessica. Jessica was a primary school teacher in Renfrewshire for five years before reaching burnout with her job and making the life-changing decision to move into the coding industry.

The 28-year-old says she was having difficulty coping in her job – her free time was occupied with planning lessons, and she needed to fork out school resources with her own money.

“I didn’t have science or maths at school so I didn’t think I could manage to code – I thought that those doors in STEM were closed,” she said. “To be honest I didn’t even really know what a software engineer was.”

“I assumed it was a geeky, guy’s job – I certainly didn’t know any other women in these roles that I could look at as a role model or inspiration.”

But all that changed when Jessica saw an Instagram advert by Code First Girls offering a free eight-week online coding course. She was able to complete the course in the evenings as she worked as a teacher during the day.

Now, Jessica works as a full-time junior software engineer at Sky Betting & Gaming and says she is only the happier for it.

Thaslima Ferdous grew up with hopes of becoming a doctor one day. The 25-year-old studied biomedical science and went on to work as a healthcare assistant in the NHS before deciding the medical life path was not for her.

After reading a story about a young woman who had become a coder, Ferdous was inspired to look into switching careers to one in tech.

“I began to think ‘What do I have to lose?’ So decided to do a 14-week coding boot camp which taught me the foundations of Python and SQL.”, said Ferdous.

“My team is entirely male but this is the start,” she adds.

Though this displays the gender inequality still present in the sector, Ferdous encourages other women that it is still a beneficial and life-changing opportunity that they too can achieve: “If you’re willing to work hard and put in the hours, there’s no reason why a tech job isn’t for you.”

Getting Women Into Coding

Despite increasing numbers and women such as Jessica and Thaslima motivating other women to get involved in tech, according to SheCodes, women only make up 25% of all coding jobs.

So, what can society do to give these numbers a bit more of a push?

The coding course that Jessica completed was one offered by Code First Girls – a company that is truly paving the way to close the gender gap in the sector. The female-founded company. provides free coding courses for women and subsequently helps them to be recruited by connecting companies with their newly trained female developers.

By encouraging women to think about jobs in STEM and giving them the opportunity to switch to employment in these fields, more women may be motivated to get jobs in fields such as coding.

Chief Executive of Code First Girls, Anna Brailsford, believes that “These are candidates who may have never considered a STEM career before, convinced it was a career just for men, or that they didn’t have the right skills. But they come with a wealth of experience to change things in technology for the better.”

Brailsford brings to attention that a whole pool of talent may be untapped by encouraging women to think about a job in STEM. This could be done by integrating coding into the curriculum, offering online courses, boot camp schemes, apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships.

This would be beneficial not just to women, but to all the sectors in STEM. Last year, the UK technology sector had a talent shortage which threatened to “stifle growth” of the industry as the year saw more than two million job vacancies in the tech sector – more than any other labour area.

Former education minister Michelle Donelan has remarked that “Employers both large and small are crying out for more people to be trained in digital skills”, reinforcing that it is more important now than ever to tap open the pool of talent women offer to tech.

Jessica is just one of the women who are encouraging others to disregard the stereotypes and consider a job in coding for themselves: “I previously discounted coding as something for computer scientists or geniuses.”

“But if you are good at communicating and problem solving – a job in tech can be for you.”