This past weekend I stumbled upon the teaser for what I think might be my future favorite film. After being inspired in under four minutes and reminded why I work everyday to make my industry an equal place for both genders, I dove deeper into the background of the film and its progression from an idea to reality.
[vimeo 104144890 w=500 h=281]
What exactly is CODE?
CODE is a documentary aiming to “debug the gender gap.” Not only does it illuminate the gender gap in the tech field, it also takes a holistic approach and deciphers why this gap is present to begin with.
It specifically revolves around the gender gap among computer science graduates. According to the project’s Indiegogo page, 63% of college entrants are female and only 18% are majoring in computer science.
Crowd funding in action
Indiegogo is an international website that allows users to raise money for proposed projects. The intent is to fund projects that supporters deem inspiring and which possess great potential that couldn’t be realized without additional funding.
CODE is currently backed by more than 800 people who believe in its message. The documentary has been created by a team of 3 up to this point: director Robin Hauser Reynolds, producer Staci Hartman, and Associate Producer/Social Media director Connor McCubbin. Because they need to invest heavily in graphics, licensing, and a soundtrack, they can’t go further without additional funding.
The team put together the teaser video to display on their Indiegogo page where they initially hoped to receive $75,000. However, CODE raised $86,435 by the end of the campaign and is still receiving more monetary support via donations directly on their site. This incredible virtual support demonstrates how widespread this issue is and how passionately women (and men) feel about it.
A feature of Indiegogo is giving away different levels of “perks” to supporters of projects. A smart partnership CODE made is with GoldieBlox, a line of interactive toys geared towards young girls. The toys follow a storyline of a character who needs help building machines ranging from dunk tanks to parade floats.
Aside from CODE aiming to increase female participation in technical fields themselves, they thought out of the box and partnered with a company that has a similar mission.
The End Goal
The CODE team aims to reach lofty goals aside from those mentioned above. First, they wish to inspire females to take a technical path and feel confident about their choice. From my perspective, I can certainly sympathize with any girls that have felt an inherent desire to study computer-related fields yet were discouraged because society swayed them elsewhere.
If the first goal is accomplished, it will provoke economic growth in the long run. Research shared on the crowd funding page states that “by the year 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer science jobs in the US and only 400,000 American programmers. That leaves 1 million unfilled jobs.”
If this is the case, unfortunately these jobs will have to be sent elsewhere or invested in overseas. This is an obviously negative situation for our economy and if we had more women to fill these positions it would have a positive effect on our economy.
The documentary also hopes to ultimately help defy stereotypes and change society’s mind about STEM workers. Hopefully, individuals such as Reynolds, Hartman, and McCubbin will continue to strive for a world where a woman in IT or computer science is the norm, instead of what currently exists in the tech industry (see chart).
Are you as excited as I am to view the documentary? Do you think it has the potential to change the minds of our society? Let me know @meganminier! And, of course, leave us a comment below!