Category Archives: Projects

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

Exciting New Partnership Announcement with University of Victoria Computer Science for Young Digital Leaders

CC-UVIC-WECS logoWe are honoured and excited to announce that we have partnered with University of Victoria Computer Science and Women in Engineering & Computer Science. Their help in building a great curriculum for our digital literacy project for women is going to touch many lives!

We are proud to have Veronika Irvine on board as the first Digital Literacy coordinator. We are excited to be working  working with Veronika and her dedicated team at the University of Victoria, Canada!

Our digital literacy program provides training and online mentoring to girls with limited access to learning and educational opportunities. This project will provides digital training and mentorship opportunities for girls in less developed regions of the world. Our work was recently featured by World Pulse in their 7 Women, 7 Ideas Changing Lives series.

Launching ‘The Code To Change Program 2015′

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e-Skills bootcamp and conference 2015, 15-17th October Amsterdam, The Netherlands

What is the Code To Change Program?

The Code to Change program is an extensive 5-month program aimed at women who are looking for new challenges and want to kick-start a career in ICT. It consists of three phases. The coding bootcamp phase, the mentoring phase and work experience phase. In the course of our work we are often asked the following question by women pursuing personal growth and professional change: “Where do I start?” The Code to Change program answers that question and paves the way for a smooth start in a new career!

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The Digital Revolution has changed the way we think, live and work. The world has reached a point where digital literacy is fundamental for finding a job. In the future, ninety percent of jobs will demand digital skills.

The Digital Agenda for Europe estimates that by 2020 there will be a skills deficit that equates almost a million unfilled jobs.
The Code to Change program is designed to inspire and teach women important skills to succeed in the digital world and job market. Despite high unemployment across Europe, the huge e-skills gap is a barrier to existing roles in the sector. In order to boost competitiveness, productivity and employability of the workforce, we need to bridge the e-skills gap to ensure innovation and growth by updating the skills of the existing talent pool.

The Code to Change program 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 percent of the 2.7 million people working in the ICT sector are women. The percentage is even lower in the IT sector. Women also disproportionally leave the ICT sector as they progress in their careers. The lack of female participation in technology-related studies exacerbates a pre-existing problem with labour supply shortages. Multiple studies have shown that more gender-balanced and diverse teams perform better. Given these 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 program 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.

Interested in applying for our coding bootcamp?

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 16.16.32Interested in partnering with us for workshops, lighting talks or collaboration opportunities? Please feel free to send us an email at info(at)chunrichoupaal(dot)org

The Code To Change Conference website

The Code to Change program will take place in Amsterdam during European Code Week 2015.

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Digital Literacy Campaign for Inclusion of girls in ICT fields

GirlsInICT Event-ChunriChoupaalWe are pleased to announce the launch of our digital literacy program with our implementing partner Zephaniah Free Education in rural Pakistan! In the first phase, we are introducing 14 school girls to the use of technology for exploring educational and training resources. The aim is to enable them to learn skills which will enable them to join the work force. Due to social and cultural constraints, these girls are not allowed to leave their homes. Technology can provide them a chance to explore opportunities from the comfort of their own homes!

But there is more! The training centre in rural village of Gujranwala, Pakistan had no qualified trainer so we embarked on this ambitious journey and started our classes from the Netherlands!

ChunriChoupaal Centers

ChunriChoupaal Centers are Community Technology Centres for Women for the local communities.

CC Centers are based on our award winning project idea“Community Technology Centre for Women.” These centres aim to focus on opportunities for women in the field of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) and sensitize new technology users on the emerging issues and risks associated with making a presence online and data generation. Through this project, ChunriChoupaal is attempting to provide low cost access to both computers and Internet with learning facilitation thus helping these women connect and empower them to improve their lives!

We ran our first pilot-project in a remote Thal desert area of Pakistan where 25 women registered to take part in our trainings program. We are currently looking at partners and community members to collaborate with for further implementation of this project.