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More than an online club. It’s a movement.

The gender gap is a global problem and our free online portal is open to all schools across the world.

dressCode is more than just a club, we are a movement! We do more than offer a free online portal for pupils that schools can sign up to, we support them in running a girls coding club, taking the pressure off the teachers by providing all the materials and resources required in a format that allows pupils to work at their own pace and be creative, taking their ideas and turning them into reality with code!

We curate a dressCode gallery where girls can submit their creations, try each other’s work and share their very own creations with other dressCoders to help inspire each other and leave a legacy for the many girls who will follow and join the club after them.

We host hackathons for schools at tech industry offices, during which pupils get a chance to work in teams and create a solution using code supported by industry professionals and senior girls acting as mentors and role models.

We take great pride in our regular online free, fun coding competitions. These are occasionally open to all pupils, boys and girls with great prizes supported by industry sponsors, again bringing together education and industry.

This barely scratches the surface of what dressCode is doing, we have big plans. There is not enough talent coming through from Computing in general, if we can start to address this issue as well then more girls will come through, even if it still remains lower than the boys. We know that in order to inspire more pupils into Computing Science we need to do more! And we know that we need to start earlier and nurture, inspire, excite and the talent in schools and help to bridge the gap with industry to raise awareness of the amazing opportunities in tech and create a sustainable cycle with pupils coming from primary to pick Computing Science at secondary school, then make their way to industry through whichever route is appropriate for them, be that college, university, apprenticeships or just straight to industry. Then we have to ensure that they have the opportunity to give back and help inspire the next generation that will follow them, starting at primary school and supporting every stage of their learning. It is not good enough to only focus on one level, it needs to be across all levels in a continuous effort if we are to see any meaningful, sustainable change in the uptake of Computing Science and the gender gap.

With this in mind, dressCode has started work on our primary portal for pupils, helping ensure there is progression from primary to secondary schools and not simply a repeat of content with little variation or progression.

We know even this isn’t enough, so we are going further and have a number of initiatives we are beginning, all with the aim of increasing uptake of Computing Science, closing the gender gap, raising awareness and informing about opportunities in tech, championing and supporting the teachers delivering Computing Science at schools and celebrating the up and coming talent. We firmly believe industry is a key element in this undertaking. We are fortunate to have JPMorgan as our platinum sponsor. If you would like to support any of our initiatives and help play a part in improving the uptake of Computing Science and closing the gender gap we would love to hear from you!

SourceCode – our latest initiative that will be launching soon. Shining a light on the talented pupils at primary and secondary level who are doing amazing things with tech! We aim to highlight these talented pupils to industry to show them the incredible people coming up from schools and letting them know early to keep an eye out for them as they progress through the pipeline.

Turing’s Testers – we don’t just want to inspire girls, we want to empower them. We support a number of student lead initiatives, most notably the multi award winning Turing’s Testers, which is part of dressCode. Our senior team of girls run online cyber competitions for primary and secondary pupils to help inspire the next generation into cyber security. With industry support the girl’s competitions can reach more pupils and provide more and better prizes!

Coding projects – bringing together exciting coding challenges from industry to all pupils! This will not only help raise awareness of opportunities in industry but also support teachers delivering Computing Science in schools and inspire pupils.

Role models on Wikipedia – role models are key. We want to ensure young girls are aware of the role models from their country and further afield to help instill the belief that opportunities in tech are achievable and shout about the incredible role models doing amazing things in tech. Hopefully one day we will see dressCode girls being part of this coming full circle from school to a job in tech!

Supporting and influencing parents/guardians – parents and guardians play a vital role in the choices of their children. We want to help inform them about the exciting and viable career options that are out there in the world of tech.

Computing Science in schools – teachers are vital! They play such an important part in children’s lives and they work incredibly hard. We intend to listen, support, encourage, champion and remove barriers for teachers delivering Computing Science. We are currently running Computing Science Scotland @compsciscot

Along with a dressCode fund, award ceremonies and publicity campaigns, this is a small insight into our plans to increase the uptake of Computing Science and close the gender gap on a global scale.

We know we cannot solve this issue alone and by working together we can achieve more. If you would like to support our global movement, get in touch!

Toni Scullion, Founder of dressCode

toni.scullion@dresscode.org.uk