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Pacman pie image Julia Elman

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Empowering women by teaching

Many folks have been asking the following question: how to get more women involved in various programming communities? This questioning has led to great discussions about subsidized childcare at tech conferences and more focus on diversity in programming.

My answer: Teach women to program.

Last night, I had the pleasure of teaching my first class for Girl Develop It Raleigh/Durham. It’s an affordable opportunity for women who want to learn the basics about HTML and CSS. We had about 9 students and it was… well, awesome! By the end of the class, we were laughing and learning together. The students left with smiles on their faces and telling me how much fun they had programming.

The other thing I learned tonight is that teaching women also empowers you as a teacher. A lot of us seasoned female veterans of programming have a lot of knowledge we can share. By getting involved and teaching other women how to program, you are not only empowering your students, but yourself too.

So, it’s like that old saying, “Teach a man to fish and…”

Wait… let’s change that to:

Teach a woman to program and empower her for a lifetime.