The importance of equity in Code Clubs

The theme for this year’s International Women’s day is equity and how, when we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and inclusion.

Equity is important in Code Club, as it ensures that all children, regardless of their background, have equal access to opportunities and resources they need to learn and succeed in coding.

We’ve spoken to women who are involved in Code Clubs across the globe, to learn more about how they are working towards more equitable access to Code Clubs in their communities

Four girls huddled around two computers facing a wall. The girls are working on a Scratch project.
Club members in India, exploring Scratch

Creating an inclusive learning environment

Having equity in Code Club fosters a more inclusive learning environment, where all children feel valued and supported, leading to increased engagement and motivation to learn, as well as a sense of community and belonging.

In our 2022 annual survey, we learned that the proportion of the total number of young people who attend Code Clubs who are girls is 41.2%. We have work to do, but as a community we are actively looking to increase this.

In India, educator Madhusmita from Handidhua High School in Talcher understands the importance of encouraging girls to attend a Code Club and the positive impact it can have on their future.

Educator, Madusmita International Women's Day quote.“ The girls continuously blow me away, there’s no limit to what they can achieve. These girls will change their future and their entire household's future if they continue to do what they’re doing right now.”

Across the world, Code Clubs are free to access. Each week, when a young coder attends, they have access to our free 3…2…1…Make! path that gives them agency to develop their coding skills and create projects that matter to them. In turn, they will develop important coding skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. These are skills that they will use throughout their life. 

The importance of real role models

Positive role models, like Code Club educators, can help breakdown stereotypes and biases that could hold young coders back.

Role models from diverse backgrounds inspire young coders to pursue their passions and develop their skills. When a young person sees a role model who looks like them, it helps them feel seen, heard, and valued. It also gives them a real sense of belonging.

Kaye, from Code Club Australia, shares her thoughts on the importance of a role model and the learning a young person can gain.

Providing access to coding opportunities

We understand that there is still a digital divide between those who have access to technology and those who don’t. Breaking down this divide is a key mission at Code Club. We know that for young people to succeed in the digital age, we need to provide them with access to the right opportunities.

We’re working on doing this by creating a learning environment where coders can explore computing and are able to build skills, increase their digital literacy, embrace creativity, and spend time with real role models.

Code Club educator Fiona Lindsay has great aspirations for the young girls who attend her club in Scotland:

“My hopes are that girls will pursue their dreams and use coding as a tool for creation and innovation — not just be users of tech.

For girls to be more confident and feel empowered to be the leaders in the field of coding and have much more representation. For girls to be the drivers and instigators for new ideas and developments in code and to have the opportunities to lead the way for the future.”

A young girl sharing her laptop screen towards the camera. The screen shows a Scratch project.
Young coder, Joanne from Hillside Code Club, Scotland.

There is still lots of work to be done to make computing an equitable space. The research team at the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been exploring how we can encourage more girls to engage with computing through the Gender Balance in Computing (GBIC) programme.

This research will help us to support Code Clubs to give opportunities for everyone to come together and code.

On International Women’s Day, use the hashtag #MyCodeClub and share how you’re working towards making your club an equitable space for all.