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Empowering women of low resources teaching them how to code

img_20140412_150315.jpg

Along with my co-founder we created ADA, a social enterprise which aims to provide job opportunities and social inclusion for underprivileged women teaching them technological skills.
Nowadays, only 30% of employees are women and most of them do informal labour and are underpaid, especially underprivileged sections in which 7 out of 10 are women. Most of them are users of information but they don’t produce it using technological tools. At present, only 13% of active staff at computer science are women.
Empowering women is essential to build stronger economies and communities. According to a Cisco research there will be a 30% difference between supply and demand of employees.
We train women focusing on lower class giving them computer science classes and short workshops about soft skills in a cooperative learning environment. We make up for the necessities of the corporate market offering them our staff, software development and testing services. Once a client has contacted Ada demanding these, the women start a full time relationship with us, working for our client.
The response we had from our first group of women is awesome. They never thought they were capable to do something like this, something that they thought that was reserved for upper social classes. They're learning the programming language Java and they want to learn more, they think that is very interesting and they're advancing and growing step by step. They are hopeful for the opportunities that a job in the technology industry offers, and the power to change their lifes it has. and being on a group of almost all women really makes a difference because they feel more confident and without fear. With the companies we have two clear challenges: show that people of lower classes with a good training can do this kind of work and get more women contracted on IT industry.
We already started the change The revolution of women developers has started.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Comments

LeanaM's picture

Thank you for sharing!

Celes Medina - gracias por compartir la información de este emprendimiento social. Me parece una idea genial y me alegra saber que les esté resultando esta gran iniciativa! Se me ocurre que tal vez las mujeres a las que capacitan podrían tener interés en compartir su experiencia. No sé si habrás visto esta página, que tiene las instrucciones para participar en español: http://worldpulse.com/campaigns/www/las-mujeres-tejen-la-red-como-partic... Invítalas a participar también - mientras más voces mejor!

Saludos y gracias por contar tu historia-
Leana M
Digital Action Campaigns Manager, World Pulse

celes_medina's picture

Gracias a vos por leer!

Hola Leana!
Gracias por leer y ponerte en contacto conmigo! Voy a tratar de que las chicas escriban su experiencia!
Un abrazo.

Celes

CaroCimador's picture

Que buena iniciativa!

Hola Celes! Me alegra escuchar un lenguaje cercano sobre empoderamiento, emprender, educación y empresa social y una idea tan necesaria para lograr una inserción laboral calificada.
Sigue adelante! En WorldPulse vas a encontrar muchísima información, recursos, estímulos y alegría para andar este gran camino.
Mantengamonos en contacto!
Me encantaría escuchar mas.
Con cariño y felicidad
Caro

LeanaM's picture

Gracias!

Gracias, Caro, por siempre apoyar a nuestra comunidad!

CaroCimador's picture

Gracias a vos!

Gracias Leana por estar siempre presente dando aliento y compartiendo. Me encanta este nuevo grupo!! Leo historias de mujeres de toda clase e interesantes!! Espero que día a día se vayan sumando cada vez mas.
Un cariño muy grande!
Caro

celes_medina's picture

Otra argentina en sintonía

Hola Caro!

Ya hicimos contacto via email pero no quería dejar de agradecerte por dejarme este comentario y apoyarnos por diferentes medios!
Necesitamos más mujeres como vos comprometidas con empoderar a la mujer y que realmente comprendan la importancia de hacerlo! Un abrazo!

Celes

busayo's picture

Welcome and thanks for sharing

Welcome to worldpulse and thank you for sharing this beautiful piece with us. Ride on with the good work!!

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Busayo:

Thanks for reading our story, it's amazing how the web connect women with the same purpose and values from differents parts of the world.
I promise to read your stories as soon as I can.
Regards!

Celeste

Mary S's picture

Hi Celes Thank you for

Hi Celes

Thank you for telling us about ADA. What a great idea! Gender or social background should not stop anyone from getting a good job.

Even here in the UK, there are less women working in the IT industry than men. Science and technology used to be seen much more as jobs for men than for women, but there is now more effort to encourage girls to get interested in science and technology subjects at school and to go on to careers in those areas.

Have you had a lot of interest from companies who want to use your services or employ some of the women you are training?

Mar

celes_medina's picture

¡Thanks for writing!

Hi Mar!

Since in the countries of the north side started with all the girl and women in tech revolution, I readed everything about it and that's why I created Ada. Unfortunally here is not a preocupation of the public opinion but I hope someday will be because Is important for the development of our country.
About your question, we started to contact companies since March, we contacted a lot of companies only via email and only few answered but we hope to try to engage them using other ways. Until we don't have a group of graduates, we will not have a employee.
We have several barriers to overcome and many are difficult, but try to complete all our cycle: train and employ the women that we trained.
Thanks for your interest!!!!
Regards,

Celes

Mary S's picture

Good luck!

Good luck!

Hello Celes,

What fantastic work educating low income women to work in IT. This is a great way to transform the lives of women and whole economies.

Keep up the good work!

In love and peace,
Ann Fishburn

celes_medina's picture

¡Thank you!

Hello Ann!!!
Thanks for writing a few words for us. It's a hard work trying to help women from disadvantaged sectors because of all the difficulties they lived but I believe that with effort, we can make these girls become good software developers.
Thanks again!

Regards,

Celes and the Ada Team

RosemaryC's picture

Bravo!

Dear celes_medina:

Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. So many of us use the internet but do not know how to do the coding that creates the framework for the internet. Reading about how ADA is training women, and thus creating employment and work possibilities for them, is such a powerful demonstration of the possibilities for changing lives that are offered by our digital society.
Bravo to you and the rest of ADA!

Best wishes,
Rosemary

celes_medina's picture

¡Thanks Rosemary!

Dear Rosemary:

Thanks for your kind words.
Here in Latin America we don't have a active public opinion on how important is try to get more women on the digital world and the great opportunities to improve their lifes that exists for hers and their families, more if they could work for the regional technology industry.
Thanks again and regards!

Celes and the Ada Team

SanPatagonia's picture

Maravilloso!

Celeste: qué bueno encontrarte y leer sobre esta iniciativa desde Ada. Este año una de mis lecturas fue un trabajo sobre mujeres y tecnología, que marcaba la deficiencia en el acceso a la programación.
Me alegra haberte encontrado aquí en este genial espacio de WP y también descubrir a Carolina Cimador posteando desde nuestro país.

Un fuerte abrazo y te sigo aquí y en las redes!

Sandra

@SanPatagonia
Be a voice, tell a story, start the fire. | Sé una voz, cuenta una historia, enciende el fuego.

celes_medina's picture

¡Gracias Sandra!

Sandra:

En primer lugar...¡Que felicidad encontrar más argentinas interesadas por este tema!
Me encantaría poder leer lo que escribiste y nutrirme de eso para mejorar el trabajo que estamos realizando con Ada.
Esta plataforma es genial, como ves, el post tuvo bastante repercusión que la verdad, no me lo esperaba. Estoy feliz de haberme animado a escribir sobre Ada.
Espero tu texto y seguimos en contacto.
Un abrazo grande.

Celes y el equipo de Ada.

HeidiSB's picture

Keep Going!

Dear Celeste,

Thank you for sharing the story of ADA. I am so grateful for the people in this world who see a need and don't just talk about it, but go out and DO something about it! Good for you. You are inspiring to all of us who read about your work in addition to the women you are educating.

In the comments section you mention facing many barriers. I have no doubt that is true. Often the most important work is the hardest work, and is resisted the most by people who want to keep things the way they are. I know you will remember this when you are facing those challenges and keep going! Even without immediate job placement, the knowledge and empowerment you are providing your students is priceless and life changing.

All my best,
Heidi

Hi Heidi!

Thanks for your words, we're doing this to make a real change, to integrate all the people of our society and generate a real change.
I've had tough stages in my life and many people have helped me to move on. This is my way of giving back to the universe all that he has done for me.
I will not lie, there are days I think that we're not going to suceed with our project. The commercial part of our project is the most difficult and I think we won't make it but I hope that even if it is hard, we will succeed and as you say, I'll remember this bad moments and say: I did it. We did it.

All the best for you.

Celes and the Ada Team.

travelpoet's picture

Wonderful!

Thank you for writing about your inspiring project and for sharing how practical, hands-on work with computers and coding is positively impacting the lives of women in your region! It's so great to hear.

I'd love to know more about the specifics of the program. How long is the training? How do you find the women who are interested in participating? Your outcomes show great success, and I'm curious how other locations might replicate a similar model.

Wishing you continued success!

All best wishes,
Kristie

celes_medina's picture

Thanks Travel Poet!

Hi!!

Thanks for your words.
We're having success with our alumnas but we're experiencing dropouts of some people that were attending the course and we're advancing slower than we want with the contents of the training, but It's the first time that we're doing the course so we're learning from this experience =).
The training of testing is in 4 months and the training of coding too (but in this case if it's neccesary we will dictate the course a couple more of days).
We work approaching our project to organizations that works on the zones of vulnerability and also with the goverment of our city. These organizations make the call to get women interested. Once done, we allow all women interested,to start the course (because there are a lot of dropouts).
We'd love to replicate this model in other parts of the world, would be a dream for us.
If you want more information, we can send you our brochure in english ;)
Thanks for your interest and your wishes for us.
Wishing you the best.

Celes and the Ada Team

inetmom's picture

Starting Early

Dear Celes - When I read your entry I shouted "brilliant!". "What's brilliant?" my husband asked me and I explained your program. You have created a program that destroys gender stereotypes, breaks down cultural barriers, empowers women economically, socially and moves them toward participation in global conversations that lack women's voices. I myself am learning basic HTML and I'm starting XML and told my daughter - "I want us to learn to code this summer." She was thrilled. I would love to see your program continue.

Thank you for your inspiring work and your vision of the capacity of women everywhere!

Tiffany

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