What’s the impact of Young Women Code so far?

What’s the impact of Young Women Code so far?

Dr Rebecca Mason, research & policy lead smiling at the camera.
By: Dr Rebecca Mason Research and Policy Lead
Published on:
  • STEM

Earlier this week, we launched the findings of Young Women Code, our collaborative research project with CodeClan, that will contribute to ending gender disparity in the digital technology sector in Scotland. Read the Summary of our Findings and Key Recommendations here. 


The aim of Young Women Code is to increase CodeClan’s intake of women students to 30% by March 2024. In this blog, we’ll discuss the research, our key takeaways and recommendations, and also look at the adjustments that are already happening at CodeClan.

Women currently represent only 23% of the digital technology workforce in Scotland. While our project partner CodeClan has proven to be a successful route into the industry, their intake of women is currently only marginally higher than the industry average. 

Working alongside CodeClan, The Young Women’s Movement has conducted an in-depth review to identify, address and reduce the intersecting barriers and challenges facing women and people of marginalised genders entering and progressing within the digital technology sector. 

Using an intersectional lens, we reviewed CodeClan’s data, procedures, and policies. Alongside our Young Women Code working group of CodeClan staff, students, and alumni, we co-produced some key recommendations, suggesting how CodeClan, and other tech companies, could improve their practices to make their workplaces more equitable. Head to our full Summary and Key Recommendations to learn more. 

Some key takeaways from the Young Women Code research: 

  • Women want flexible, hybrid, part-time, job-share working models that don’t impact their progression. 
  • Students want to be taught by more women. 
  • Women feel like the tech industry sets different standards for men and women. 

CodeClan have already begun to make some changes, following our review and recommendations. These include: 


We found that the only course that had more than 27% women was a part-time offering. The Young Women Code research presented the inherent value of part-time options for women, and therefore CodeClan has developed a new hybrid, on-demand offering.


CodeClan told us explicitly that “as a priority, as a result” of this research, senior leadership are currently looking at how they can improve their Maternity and Paternity Leave policies.  


Students reported wanting more financial support undertaking CodeClan programmes. A new bursary/funding scheme has been launched to support those from underrepresented backgrounds: the Emerging Talent Fund


CodeClan have re-started its free Youth Academy and have had ‘40 young people from disadvantaged communities’ sign up. They have also launched a ‘sponsor a student’ ‘pay it forward’ scheme in order to support more young people from marginalised backgrounds getting onto the funded scheme. 


CodeClan has developed a job role, the Diversity and Community Lead, due to our recommendations of having a diversity-focused team member. 


CodeClan is developing its job descriptions and adverts to ensure they are more inclusive and accessible going forward. 

With these adjustments already in progress, and our ongoing work implementing the recommendations, we believe that increasing CodeClan’s intake of women students to 30% by March 2024 is an achievable target.

Our recommendations can also help other companies, both in and out of the tech industry, to increase intake and support retention of women and people of marginalised genders in their own organisations 

Are you interested in this project? If you’d like to know more about Young Women Code or find out how your organisation could benefit from this project’s findings, please get in touch with The Young Women’s Movement’s Research and Facilitation Coordinator, Saffron Saffron@youngwomenscot.org   

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