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AZ Tech Beat | May 19, 2019

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Blake Irving helps produce CODE docu to expose gender gap in tech

Blake Irving helps produce CODE docu to expose gender gap in tech
Tishin Donkersley

A new documentary hits the screens exposing the gender gap of women engineers in the technology industry. Code: Debugging the Gender Gap, a film by Robin Hauser Reynolds, delves into the digital divide of women and minorities entering into the technology field.

With the White House predicting by 2020 there will be 1 million unfulfilled engineering jobs in the USA, where will we find those skill sets?

The documentary takes the audience through a series of interviews with girls and minorities as to why they aren’t seeking opportunities in computer science as well as exposing the current state of our culture, the “bro mentality” and educational hurdles facing this population.

Reynolds said she set out to discover the reasons behind the gap when her daughter told her that she was dropping computer science as her major. “’I’m really bad at it,’ [my daughter] says. ‘I’m the worst in the class; I don’t fit in.’ [My daughter’s] confidence was shaken by being one of just two women in a class of 25, and by not having the resources to support her. After taking three computer science classes, she drops the CS major. Turns out she was earning a B,” Reynolds said.

code still-3

Robin Hauser Reynolds

 

Blake Irving, CEO GoDaddy, signed on to be an Executive Producer of this film. For Irving, promoting women in technology is personal.

In an article by Peter Burrows (Bloomberg), Irving stated he made a promise to his sister who passed away in 2001 to help women progress in the technology field.

“My pledge to her before she died was to do everything I could to push forward the role of women in my own field,” Irving stated. “In our industry, it has absolutely nothing to do with body image. It’s about what you can get done.”

Watch: Exclusive interview with Elissa Murphy, CTO, GoDaddy “I never got the memo I wasn’t supposed to be an engineer

Irving continues to make strides at GoDaddy to move women in to executive roles and encourage women to enter tech. Since his appointment, Irving has shifted the company’s message to “It’s Go Time” and women as entrepreneurs, hired the company’s first CTO, Elissa Murphy, attracted the company’s first women board director former Apple executive Betsy Rafael, increased the number of female interns from 14 to 40 percent and sponsored Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference (April 26-28).

Blake Irving_Headshot

Blake Irving, CEO GoDaddy

 

Recently, GoDaddy was named top company for women in tech by the Anita Borg Institute.

“Promoting women (and diversity overall) in technology is a priority at GoDaddy and critically important for the tech industry.  It’s the right thing to do and it’s good for business,” Irving said.

Reynolds film also takes a look back at the history of women impacting technology and hopes to offer a blend of personal stories, expert voices and innovative animation about what could be if more women entered technology.

“Coding isn’t just about math and science … it’s also about linguistics and creativity and personal expression which makes is incredibly important as a creative medium,” Irving said.

CODE was released at the Tribeca Film Festival and release dates in Phoenix are unknown at this time.

Read about GoDaddy’s push for women in tech here. 

Read more about CODE at codedoc.co