Allocadia Sponsors Be Like Ada Coding Event for Girls

July 23, 2014 Katherine Berry

Be Like AdaYou know the team here at Allocadia is passionate about helping marketers understand their budgets and make the most of what they have to spend, but did you know we’re also passionate about helping the community?

We’re focused on:

  • Creating a culture of giving.
  • Supporting causes close to our employees’ and customers’ hearts.
  • Empowering girls and women to pursue technology and entrepreneurship.

Be Like Ada

Supporting women in technology and entrepreneurship is close to our hearts, as a tech startup with two women co-founders — my sister Kristine and I started Allocadia in 2010 — so it’s fitting this was the focus of our first official event in the community.

Last weekend, Allocadia sponsored a girls’ coding bootcamp put on by Be Like Ada, a Vancouver nonprofit that teaches teenage girls to code. I attended to be part of an open Q&A session where girls could “meet the experts,” and had no idea what to expect.

First, I was blown away by how many girls were there. Then, I sat at my assigned table at the back of the room and waited for some of them to come talk to me. My competition was a little steep: a former NASA coder, a table with a 3D printer and information about brain research got most of the attention.

Be Like AdaAfter awhile, I started to feel a little discouraged — maybe this computer stuff was just too boring for teenage girls. But, another Allocadia employee knew her two nieces were at the event. She sent me a picture of the girls, 16-year-old cousins Julia and Siena, and I found them to say “hello.”

I introduced myself and talked about their aunt, Joanna, what she does for our team and how great we think she is. I told them about her job as a sales engineer, which involves answering the tough questions from people we’re selling to. She has to do the hard thinking about how our technology solution could work for customers, and then sharing that information with those customers.

They seemed pretty interested. I asked them what they wanted to do after high school. One said probably pharmacy. The other said nursing. They looked at each other shyly, and I assumed that they must not be sold on the idea of high-tech as a career option. We said goodbye, and I went home feeling unsure about whether I’d made any difference by participating in the event.

But the next day, I got an email from Joanna:

Hey Katherine, just got a text from my sister … ‘Julia now interested in taking computer science at university!! LOVED katherine. Very worthwhile. Tx.’

You have a gift!! No surprise!

My sister and her husband are over the moon happy that there was an opportunity for Julia to learn and explore what’s out there! 

Going to the event was worth it, just for that one conversation with two girls. Even if I only planted one small seed that a career in high-tech was possible — and fun — it was worth it.

I also learned a lesson: Even though young people may not be saying much in response, they’re definitely listening. And, competition at universities and in the marketplace is tough today. Girls who have something extra — such as tech skills — can stand out from the crowd. There are so many opportunities to get involved in the tech industry in Vancouver and beyond. It’s our job as female leaders to help spread the word and serve as mentors for young women in tech.

The post Allocadia Sponsors Be Like Ada Coding Event for Girls appeared first on Allocadia.

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