The Code To Change in Lubeck, Germany

The Code To Change team was invited to Lubeck Germany this International Women’s Day to speak about employment opportunities and digital skills in the technology sector. The event was hosted by Frauen helfen Frauen at Cloudster. The event also welcomed first sponsors of the program in Lubeck; Zonta Luebeck.

We are looking for strategic partners, sponsors and mentors for The Code To Change, Germany. If you are interested to join us, please get in touch with us via

The Code to Change in Lubeck Media

The Code To Change was at Grace Hopper Celebration 2016!

We are so proud to share that we were part on an amazing panel on #WomeninTech Innovations: Programming, Technology and Community, organized by The Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology on October 21st 2016.

The panel focused on how organizations and Women in tech communities, K12, immersive coding programs and tech investments are addressing the digital skills gap and gender digital divide. Iffat Gill spoke about how coding boot-camps and mentoring programs are changing lives of women. The panel featured stories from communities like Women Techmakers, ChickTech, The Code To Change and Pipeline Angel investors, and how they are encouraging girls and women to enter, stay and advance in tech roles and career paths .

Our advisory board member Karin Hilton (eBay Classifieds Group) was invited for a talk on the importance of career planning for women in technology.

The Code To Change is an implementing partner of Anita Borg Institute in Amsterdam for their ABI.Amsterdam program. Check out our events at our Amsterdam Women in Technology meet-up platform!

The Code To Change Conference 2016

TheCodeToChange2015-10Buy Your Tickets Now!

Congratulations to all the participants who made it to The Code To Change 2016 bootcamp. But do not worry if you do not make it to the program, you can still attend The Code To Change Conference 2016 on November 5th! Like our successful conference last year, we are all about teaching and learning new SKILLS that will enable you to explore careers in the technology sector.

The Digital Revolution is and has changed the world we live in. In the future, ninety percent of jobs will demand digital skills. By 2020 there will be a skills deficit of a million unfilled jobs. With unemployment across Europe reaching 10%, solving the gap in e-skills will bring innovation, growth and new opportunities for many people.

You don’t have to go back to school to go into IT. The Code To Change conference will introduce you to a variety of fields in the technology sector. You will learn about existing sectors, the required skills and tips on where to get those skills. If you are looking for ways to join the IT sector (you know, the sector that is actively looking for more people to fill all open positions) or simply update your digital skills, this is the conference for you.

The conference also gives you the unique opportunity to have a speed mentoring session with the speakers of your favorite sessions.

Our 2016 conference theme remains “where do I start my tech career?” We are featuring talks, sessions and workshops from seasoned technology professionals. As well as technical and career development talks and workshops.

Topics range from big data, high performance computing, coding to confidence building, career histories and network security. The aim is to not just be about skills building, but also about expanding your network and giving you information about the options available to you.

See you on the 5th of November in Amsterdam!

Buy Your Tickets Now!

We were at the Ada Lovelace festival 2016 in Berlin!

We are excited to share that our founder, Iffat Gill gave the closing keynote at the Ada Lovelace Festival in Berlin, Germany this October. The festival is an annual event which celebrates contribution of women to the emergence of the digital age. Among them was Ada Byron Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852), a mathematician now considered a software pioneer, after whom this event is named. In the mid-19th century, she developed a program for Charles Babbage’s “Analytical Engine”, a forerunner of the modern computer which was sadly never completed.

The keynote highlighted the importance of investing in potential to plug the digital skills gap through The Code To Change program.

The Code To Change 2016 programme: Applications Open!

After a successful launch in 2015 we are proud to announce that applications for The Code to Change programme 2016 are now open. This one-of-a-kind five month programme consists of a three-day kickoff event, a by a three-month mentoring phase for 30 successful participants, and a work experience phase for the selected promising mentees.

The Code to Change programme is designed to inspire and teach women important skills to succeed in the digital world and job market. According to the Council of European Professional Informatics Society, only 20% of the 2.7 million people working in the ICT sector in Europe are women. Multiple studies have shown that gender-balanced and more diverse teams perform better. Given the current disparities, urgent measures need to be taken to ensure economic empowerment of women and consequently, an inclusive, diversified and welcoming work environment.

The Code to Change programme aims to bridge the skills gap by making available effective education and mentoring through our dedicated community of IT professionals who are passionate about passing on their expertise.

You can either apply for the full programme or just the three day kickoff event which will be held on 3-5 November 2016 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Last year 26 selected women graduated from our e-skills bootcamp. We are happy to share that many of The Code to Change mentees are now building apps, starting new projects or have started working in the technology sector! Take a look at some of our emerging leaders from the programme via this link or read our mentee Joyce’s story via this link!

We have a limited number of seats. The deadline to apply is Friday, September 30th 2016

The deadline has been extended to 10th of October 2016. Apply today!

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The kickoff event begins with a two-day coding bootcamp, interspersed with lightning talks from a variety of speakers and concludes with a one-day conference.  This conference is open to everyone, whether you are accepted to the bootcamp or not. The conference features talks from seasoned IT professionals and leaders in the market about e-skills and opportunities in the digital world. We are featuring talks about skill building and career development to succeed in the technology sector.
The application form is ONLY for those who wish to apply for the entire Code to Change programme (e-skills bootcamp and mentoring). It is NOT for those who are only interested in the conference, which takes place on November 5th.

Click here for the details of The Code To Change programme

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Joyce’s Code To Change Journey!


Joyce NeysFor my PhD research on new media and civic engagement I often had to collect different kinds of data on social media platforms such as YouTube. I quickly realized that having even a basic understanding of and some skill in programming would greatly benefit the data collection process (both time- and quality-wise). I tried and participated in several online courses and while this helped me to get started, participating in the Code to Change program really boosted my learning curve. And not just in programming. More importantly, the program allowed me to meet some of the most inspiring and like-minded ladies, some of whom became good friends.

The Code to Change program offered me several changes to interact with women in different fields with different backgrounds all of whom were currently working in Tech. Their stories really gave me the push I needed to start and further develop my ideas about moving toward a more ‘techy’ field while at the same time also remaining true to the academic field. After the initial two-day course I was introduced to a great mentor with who I talk regularly and discuss different ideas and paths to (not) take.Talking with her made me realize I want to move more towards Data Science (rather than Web Development) in an NGO-liker (rather than a commercial) setting. This allows me to contribute to projects that are focused on social change while simultaneously helping fellow researchers by developing programs for them.

This means that at the moment, while I am finalizing my dissertation, I am also working on specialized tracks in Data Science and working on several small other projects. The Code to Change program has really given me the confidence to start taking my own dreams and ambitions more seriously and to dare and take the leap towards a career in tech. Time will tell where this jump will take me, but I am very grateful for The Code to Change program, and in particular Rose Gill, to provide such an inspiring and fostering environment that takes you seriously while at the same time challenging you to invest in daring to take the leap forward. And while it is still you yourself who has to do all the hard work, I would strongly encourage other women who are interested in this field but think they are not good/smart/tech-savvy enough, to find an environment that nurtures this feeling of interest and that gives you the confidence to jump. I have and it has been great so far!

The Code To Change 2016: Save The Date

Code To Change 2016 Postcard

We are proud and excited to announce that after launching a successful program in 2015, we are preparing to announce the applications for the year 2016. The Code To Change is a five-month mentoring program which is designed to inspire and teach women important skills to succeed in the digital world and job market.

For a preview of our 2015 kickoff event, please take a look at this link.

For details on The Code to Change , please see our detailed 2015 program here.

For stories about our leaders, mentors and mentees, please take a look at The Code To Change leaders here.

Please keep an eye on this space for upcoming announcement for applicants, sponsors and partners or register your interest at info(at)codetochange(dot)org

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS Forum 2016): Gender Equality & e-Skills Gap

At the WSIS Forum 2016 last week, the main theme was ‘supporting the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the WSIS Action Lines.’

WSIS CC panel

Gender Equality and e-Skills gap panel at WSIS Forum 2016

The ChunriChoupaal team has been organizing workshops on gender equality and gender mainstreaming in policies and implementation of ICT strategies at the WSIS Forum since 2014. This year, the theme was bridging the digital skills gap for the economic empowerment of women. This year’s WSIS event featured week-long discussions, workshops, sessions, high level moderated sessions on everything from gender, education, knowledge, inclusive development and the promotion of ‘creation’ of software programs and not just being consumers of technology. ChunriChoupaal-The Code To Change and our CEO Iffat Gill’s involvement as a High Level Speaker championed the message of inclusion of women and girls in the digital economy through bridging the skills gap at the WSIS Forum 2016. We have been championing the message since WSIS+10 High Level Forum 2014 and are proud that our contributions to the process were noted in the outcome document which was adopted by the UN General Assembly last December.

“Women need to be part of creating the technology and not just remain consumers. We need to empower grassroots level community leaders to facilitate inclusion of girls and women from under-represented communities.” Iffat Gill at High Level Policy Session on Access to Information and Knowledge for All

With 1,800 participants from 140 countries, including 85 ministers and 250 high-level representatives this year, the WSIS Forum is growing in importance. Last December at the WSIS+10 Review, the outcome explicitly called for the close alignment between the WSIS process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As the first meeting after that review, the Forum was an opportunity to gather the wider community to discuss the way forward.

Collage WSIS 2016

Top; High Level Track Facilitators WSIS Forum 2016, Middle-Left; ChunriChoupaal-The Code To Change Team, Middle-Right; High Level policy session on Inclusion, Bottom-Left; Team at opening cremony, Bottom-Right; High Level policy statement on Financing for Development and the Role of ICT.

WSIS Forum 2016 moved from policy statements to moderated high level policy sessions in an effort to promote dialogue and interactive discussions. Our CEO Iffat Gill was selected to be part of this innovative approach. In addition to her role as a High Level speaker at a policy session on Inclusion, Ms. Gill moderated a High Level policy session: WSIS Action Lines and the 2030 Agenda; Financing for Development and the Role of ICT. The panelists included high-ranking officials of the WSIS stakeholder community, representing the government, private sector, civil society, academia and international organisations.

Quotes from our workshop on ‘Gender Equality and e-Skills Gap:

“Men are part of the solution. We need the fathers, and brother’s friends and sons to become our supporters.” Mine Ogura, Head of Delivery-eBay Classifieds Group

“Community is important. Bridging the skill gap is about fostering of men and women working together to achieve SDG 5 for gender equality.” Monique Morrow CTO new frontiers evangelist at Cisco

“Our mentors need mentoring too. They need to learn how to be better coaches.” Claudia Vicol, Senior Software Engineer and Manager at Martkplaats part of eBay Classifieds Group.

We hope that the spirit of inclusion and action can continue throughout the coming years to achieve the sustainable development goals through leveraging ICTs for development.


1- Link to Workshop on Gender Equality and e-Skills Gap (recording to webcast can be found in the side bar) [Link]

2- Video message from Member European Parliament, Terry Reintke for ChunriChoupaal’s WSIS Forum workshop [Link]

2- Summary of High Level Policy Sessions. [Link]

3- Link to WSIS Forum 2016 Outcome document [Link]

4- Link to event photos [Link]

Our hashtag: #worktoequality

Event hashtags: #WSIS

Video message from Terry Reintke for Gender Equality workshop at WSIS Forum 2016

Member European parliament Terry Reintke has been a strong supporter of inclusion of women in the digital economy. This is a video message from Terry for our thematic workshop at the WSIS Forum 2016: Gender Equality and e-Skills gap.

Terry Reintke’s report on ’empowering women in the digital age’ has been voted in the European Parliament in April 2016.

The Code To Change Leaders Campaign – IWD 2016

Banner - Celebrating inclusion and diversity in Digital Innovations

Digital inclusion for gender equality and economic empowerment of women

We are proud to launch our ‘The Code to Change Leaders’ campaign on International Women’s Day 2016. This campaign will run until International Girls in ICT Day on the 28th of April 2016. The main aim of our campaign is to highlight the leaders and emerging leaders of The Code to Change movement. These Code to Change Leaders are passionate about teaching others digital skills with the objective to solve the problems of shortage, acquisition and retention of females in the IT sector. They dedicate their time and talent to paving the way for others to succeed. Furthermore, we will also feature some of the promising talent from our programme.

The Code to Change programme is designed to inspire and teach women important skills to succeed in the digital world and job market. It is part of ChunriChoupaal’s Work to Equality campaign which highlights stories of gender bias in the workplace.

Iffat Gill

Iffat Gill-C2C Leader 1

Iffat is a strong advocate of economic empowerment of women and she believes that technology can accelerate the achievement of gender equality. She started The Code to Change programme under the flagship of the Work to Equality campaign to address the digital skills gap and to reintegrate women into the technology workforce.

Iffat specializes in projects focussing on women’s economic empowerment both in Pakistan and internationally.  With her campaigns she has been at the forefront of shaping the policy debate on digital inclusion for close to a decade.

“Technology has provided us with tremendous opportunities for employment and innovation. The Code to Change is a journey of learning, connecting and exploring those possibilities.”

Mine Ogura

Mine Ogura Leaders 3(In Mine’s own words) In the early 90s, the world of software startups was new and brimming with artsy- and mathy-people, so I was happy to join. The percentage of women was in the low 20s; I was sure it would get better over the years. It got worse: in the mid 90s to early 2000s, my colleagues in Silicon Valley were mostly men. It has not gotten better today – we make 16% of the field and only 9% of us who started in our 20s have made it beyond 45. I want to change this; the only way to do so is by bringing women with life and business experience into my field.

In January 2015, I teamed with Iffat Rose Gill to bring women in-between careers, especially older women, into the technology sector by working towards an apprenticeship program. We ran The Code to Change Bootcamp and Conference in October 2015 to train them in the basics, get them excited and mentor them. We need your help in the next steps: to re-do what we created in October, continue the mentorship program and add apprenticeship programs in companies willing to take on this work. All of this takes time, money and investment. Join us!

Mine is Chief Information Officer in ‘The Code To Change’ program and a member of eBay Netherlands’ Tech Management Team.

Claudia Vicol

Claudia Vicol 4Claudia Vicol is a powerhouse who is leading the Code To Change mentorship program. She was previously involved with PyLadies and Girls in Tech events, where she gave trainings to women in Django programming language. She also has instructional videos on Youtube teaching people about her varied interest areas, including arts & crafts and Scala programming. She forged the way for women in in her company, Marktplaats (eBay Classifieds Group, NL) as she was the first woman developer in the company.

She is a Senior Back-End Developer (Java, Scala, SOA) in a male-dominated field, manages 3 other developers and trains others in new approaches to working innovatively. She is also the president of the Workers’ Council in eBay Netherlands.

Samira Mellenbergh

Samira Mellenbergh- C2C Leader 2

From an early age, Samira has been a geek when it comes to technology. But growing up, she never thought of getting a job in the high tech industry. She started her career at Dell and moved on to work in the High Performance Computing (HPC) niche market. In this market , Big Data analytics has become very significant, and by being a part of it, Samira feels that she is part of making the world smarter. She joined The Code to Change programme as an inspirational speaker to motivate other women to join the technology sector.

Ciara de Jong

Ciara de Jong 5Realizing that technology is at the heart of everything, Ciara did not want to miss being a part of the innovations. That is why she works in IT sector. She started her career in a Sales role at Bright Computing, which develops a software tool for High Performance Computing, Hadoop and Openstack Clusters. She is now working with Dell and has been upgrading her technical know-how. She joined ‘The Code To Change’ kickoff as a ‘speed mentor’ to inspire others of the possibilities with and in IT. She is also co-leading the Code To Change Leaders campaign.

Arina Angerman

Arina Angerman Leader 2

Arina Angerman became part of the Code To Change because of her passion to teach digital skills to baby-boomers and 50 plus people. She says that navigating through new media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be challenging for people of her generation. She aims to bridge the e-skills gap and advocate for lifelong learning. “The Code to Change programme is about learning by doing.”

An activist, blogger and consultant who for 35 years, spends 8 hours a week of her personal time to promote equal rights and gender equality. She is a board member of European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and represents International Alliance of Women.

Arosha Brouwer

Arosha Brouwer

Arosha has more than twelve years of international experience in management consulting and digital engagement. Arosha has advised and led projects across private (telecommunications, banking, network marketing, mining, chemicals and professional services) and public (government and non-profit) sectors. Her passion lies in understanding people, organizations and the societies to which they belong to. “Technology is obviously moving at a fast pace, but what remains at the core is the need to understand people and their basic motivations.”

Arosha is involved with The Code To Change program to inform participants about opportunities in the Digital marketing field.

Maria Alexandra Vargas Ortega

Maria Alexandra Vargas Ortega

Alexandra, is a  passionate Colombian Frontend Developer, who love to create useful things for people. During her time at college and throughout her professional career, Alexandra was involved with different communities to share knowledge. Alexandra is a mentor with The Code To Change program and she is guiding her mentee to build an app to map Amsterdam’s drinking water taps.

In Colombia she was active in Medellin PHP, Medellin JS and NodeSchool for Women communities. She loves working on social projects and volunteered with animal rights campaigns and helped to ‘bring love to doggies at ‘ Animal Shelter Love and Peace.’ Alexandra is a firm believer that learning is a continuous process and that the key to everything is persistence and passion.

Dr. Angelika Dietrich-Winkler

Dr. Angelika Dietrich-Winkler

Angelika is a Code To Change mentee. An experienced marketing professional who is now building a mobile app to map drinking water fountains in Amsterdam and Vienna. Angelika started with building a website to map drinking water taps to reduce the pollution caused by plastic bottles. The core of the website is based on python programming language to automatically convert the address of a drinking fountain into a geo location, and uploads and tags it onto the map canvas.

Angelika chose to switch her career path because she did not want to miss out on ‘creating’ the digital future. Following Steve Job’s advice to stay hungry and stay young, she started to learn coding. She is a rookie in programming but can use her extensive experience in marketing to look outside the box and act as a linking pin between these worlds.

Angelika’s long term goal is to map drinking fountains across Europe.

 Joyce Neys

Joyce Neys

Joyce Neys is a PhD candidate. She started to learn coding after realizing that programming skills would greatly benefit the data collection process (both time- and quality-wise) for her research on new media and civic engagement. Joyce worked with data from different online platforms like YouTube.

Joyce says that participating in the Code to Change program really boosted her learning curve. And not just in programming. In her own words:

“The program allowed me to meet some of the most inspiring and like-minded ladies, some of whom became good friends of mine. I had the chance to interact with women from different backgrounds, working in different fields of technology industry. Their stories really gave me the push I needed to start and further develop my ideas about moving toward a more ‘techy’ field while at the same time also remaining true to the academic field.

Talking with my mentor made me realize I want to move explore a careers in Data Science. This allows me to contribute to projects that are focused on social change.  The Code to Change program has really given me the confidence to start taking my own dreams and ambitions more seriously and to dare and take the leap towards a career in tech. And while it is still you yourself who has to do all the hard work, I would strongly encourage other women who are interested in this field but think they are not good/smart/tech-savvy enough, to find an environment that nurtures this feeling of interest and that gives you the confidence to jump. I have and it has been great so far!”

Hashtags:  #leaders #IWD2016 #GirlsinICT

#worktoequality #Womenintech #eskills