Fact 1: Women hold only 26% of computing related positions. Fact 2: By 2020 there will be 1.4 million tech jobs; 70% of them will be unfilled.
It’s these facts and a lack of resources that inspired Tina Lee, a working mom of two from San Francisco, to create MotherCoders, a tech orientation program designed for moms who want to learn basic computer programming.
Tina founded MotherCoders when she couldn’t find a resource that worked well for her when she wanted to get more proficient in computer programming. After surveying her options, she had a hunch there might be other moms like her out there, yearning for a learning experience that involved lots of social interaction and support from like-minded peers.
Tina with her husband and two children
The MotherCoders course provides a stress-free environment with on-site childcare for moms who want to learn basic programming, expand their understanding of the technology landscape, and network with peers and industry professionals.
“Our mission is to on-ramp moms to technical careers because their participation is essential to sustainable economic growth in a dynamic tech and innovation driven economy,” Tina explains. “The goal is not to make software programmers (there are already lots of good folks working hard on that). Rather, we offer a technology orientation program that enables moms to gain enough knowledge and confidence to take the next step toward technical careers.”
Prior to launching MotherCoders, Tina most recently served as Director of Outreach and Innovation for the California State Controller’s Office, where she headed outreach efforts in Northern California and worked to strengthen the Controller’s relationship with the technology industry. Tina received her M.A. in Education from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education in 2010, where her studies in their Learning, Design & Technology Program focused on how technology can be used to foster civic engagement.
She’s certainly putting that degree to good use!
Whether it’s going back school, diving into a specific programming language, joining a tech-focused meetup, or seeking an internship where women can further develop their technical skills, Tina and MotherCoders is helping moms get on a career development track that leads to new opportunities, ones that build on their skills and talents, passions and experiences.
“Moms alone represent $2.4 trillion of the market. And with many of them already online and using technology, their participation in driving innovation can result in better products and services for everyone,” said Tina.
Next up? Tina is working to raise $150,000 to create a regular class schedule that can handle more moms and grow to other cities nationwide.