It’s been a few months since February that I got to know Anastasia Siapka and Maria Dermetzi, founding members of ‘Code it Like a Girl’. You might wonder; “What is ‘Code it Like a Girl?”. If you feel like a man, I could fathom that you saw a pinkish sticker somewhere – just like the one in the picture – and you merely omitted it. If you feel like a woman, I guess it caught your eye, but… “coding”? Sounds like maths? Sounds like it can be difficult? You both stepped over some stereotypes guys… No. Let’s fix this.
Changing attitudes – Disrupting stereotypes – Building societies
Back on the day I got to know Anastasia and Maria: two lively and smiley girls entered the room. Maria’s glasses caught my attention; I liked the color. What color? I cannot say, I’m colorblind. Anastasia has two big round eyes and she seems to be thinking and processing information all the time… Pfff doesn’t she get tired? – My mind crashes after a few hours of processing… – Whatever, I was patient until they gave a presentation about ‘Code it Like a Girl’. And then…
What do they do in the end?
‘Code it Like a Girl’ organizes practical courses aiming to familiarize women with coding, so as to gain computational and technological skills in principle. The goal is to empower them in order to innovate and increase their representative percentage in the fields of information technology and communication.
What is interesting, is that they do not define ‘women’ as the biological gender, but as the social one… In other words, they support diversity expressed in society. It is NOT – as many falsely believe – another feminists’ movement. No. Equal opportunities, regardless of gender, origin, religion, sexual orientation etc, is a matter we should all consider… Society can be a better place if we all realize that we should look for our bonds, rather than our differences… 🙂
~Quite romantic, huh?
You don’t have to be a woman to support women…
‘Code it Like a Girl”s message – as far as I conceive it at least – is that you don’t have to be part of a minority so as to support the rights of this minority in this society… For instance, you don’t have to be black, to support equal rights for black people. You don’t have to be homosexual to support equal rights for homosexuals. In the same path, you don’t have to be woman to support women empowerment for leading positions in occupations. We are all able to build up a society of equal rights for everyone about everything. The magic key is in our minds; discard the stereotypes and realize that all of us have something to give – our own special contribution – to society.
I joined them!
Guess what! After their presentation, I expressed my admiration to their bright vision and I decided that I want to support ‘Code it Like a Girl’ in any way. I was chasing after them quite a long time… A day after I returned from Germany, this October, I was at the hairdresser’s browsing on my cell phone – ironic, isn’t it? – and ‘Code it Like a Girl’ was recruiting! I applied for the community manager’s position and I was invited for an interview. It was on my birthday and they had a cupcake with a candle on the desk. I blew it – after having wished – and I felt so calm, that I could tell them all I was thinking about the aforementioned issues and their team. We discussed ideas and thoughts… At a point, I remembered that I had to highlight my communication skills for this position. But then I thought “Come on… Just enjoy it and be you…”. And so I did! In the end, it was a good decision. For the next four months, I’ll be voluntarily contributing as a community manager.
Written by Rafail Nikolaos Tasakis