Zip Code Wilmington just finished its 11th cohort, and with that, there are now more than 300 coders who’ve gone through the program since it launched in September 2015.
— Melanie Augustin (@MelanieAugs) April 26, 2019
Zip Code is influential in Wilmington’s tech community because it has produced a stable of coders ready to fill the tech talent openings in the region. It’s doing its part to bring inclusion to tech, too.
About 60% of Zip Code’s 11th cohort were women — and that wasn’t by chance.
“When I first got to Zip Code, there were maybe two women in class of 30,” said Janelle Bowman, marketing manager for Zip Code Wilmington, at a Technical.ly Delaware stakeholders meeting in March.
Instead of accepting those numbers, the team thought of ways to make women more comfortable with the idea of joining the tech workforce as a developer. Zip Code’s woman-geared Cocktails and Conversation, a prep session presented in a casual, accessible way, helped them boost the number of women applicants dramatically.
It goes to show that it takes more than just creating opportunities and waiting to underrepresented groups to come and get them. That “maybe few women applied” is no excuse for why a program or classroom or workplace lacks inclusion.
This month, Zip Code will be holding an information session in Philadelphia featuring the Liberty USO, inviting service members and veterans — another often overlooked group in tech — to learn more about the program’s military scholarship (open to all who are interested in applying — RSVP here).
On May 15 at The Mill, Zip Code presents “What the Tech?!” a full-day workshop geared toward non-tech people that will help them communicate more effectively with the tech people they work with. Register here.