Tribeca Film Festival is in full swing, and this year shows a record high number of female directors, as well as a large number of world premieres of feature length documentaries. The festival experience is also broadened by exhibitions and events showcasing technology. One film includes all three variables; “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap” by female director Robin Hauser Reynolds (2015, USA) about women working with coding. The film was followed by a Q&A with a panel including director Robin Hauser Reynolds.
“CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap” by Robin Hauser Reynolds (2015, USA)
This is an informative and educational documentary about women in the tech industry. Since coding is one of the major areas of growth and includes very few women, it's important that women get aboard that employment train. It's easier said than done, as women are often discouraged in childhood and school to take an interest in technology, and the few who persist are often not welcomed by male co-workers. And yet much disasters could have been avoided with women involved, such as the first airbags that killed so many women and children because they were designed by and for men, and not made for women and children's smaller statures, and the first voice recognition devices unable to register the voices of women. The film offers both historical facts and present statistics of women in technology, and will hopefully be an eye opener of a deeply rooted gender problem.
Robin Hauser Reynolds on the global gender gap:
-I think it's not as much of a problem in South East Asia and India, and Poland for some reason seem to have almost 50% female software engineers, but pretty much everywhere else it's an issue.
Robin Hauser Reynolds on childcare:
-In order to retain women, I think it's really important to improve the childcare system within corporations. I mean, who knows what's gonna happen in the future, but for now, women are the only ones that can have children so it's really important to find a way to support them. Also on a cultural basis, to make it acceptable for the father to stay home with the kids.
Robin Hauser Reynolds on if the tech industry is changing:
-Sadly, I think if this were a year from now it would still be an issue. I don't mean to be pessimistic about that, I think that's just reality. But I think we are moving forward and we're really making some change in there. And I hope that that means that people will learn from this and be able see how they can make some changes in their own companies. That's one reason GoDaddy's is here. GoDaddy had for a long time a pretty horrible reputation, and yet, thanks to Blake Irving and people like Auguste (Goldman, in the panel) they are doing amazing things to change that. I felt that was important because if GoDaddy can change their corporate image and their culture, then anyone can, right?
Robin Hauser Reynolds on the female factor:
-Have you heard of the female factor? This is true. Regardless of anyones individual IQ on a team or a group of people, if you add a women to that group, the overall collective IQ rises. We've all heard the studies that productivity goes up when you add a women to the room. Adding women and people of color to a team increases the perspective which is going to make a better outcome of the product.
Robin Hauser Reynolds on the future of coding:
-In 2020 there will be 1,000,000.00 unfilled jobs in coding in the US alone. So if we don't pull from people of color, if we don't pull from different socio-economic groups, and if we don't pull from women, then we're not going to be able to fill those jobs.
by Annika Andersson/Cinespons as published on Mogul earlier today