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CODE

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CODE exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap, raising the question: What would society gain from having more women and minorities in the tech industry, and how do we get there?
Tech jobs are growing three times faster than our colleges are producing computer science graduates. By 2020, there will be one million unfilled software engineering jobs in the USA.


See More
Running Time: 78 min.
Subject(s): Children, Current Affairs, Education, Gender, Internet, Media, Society, Technology see all »
Language(s): English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Staci Hartman, Robin Hauser Reynolds

Press

  • "Polished, entertaining and informative, ‘CODE’ is mainly a trove of impressive women and articulate voices addressing an important issue"
    Film Journal
    Doris Toumarkine
  • "Thought-provoking, fascinating and tantalizing look at the disparity of women in this field, as well as why tech should be an integral part of one’s schooling from a young age."
    Mae Abdulbak

Festival & Awards

  • Rhode Island International Film Festival - 2015
    Best Documentary Feature
  • AFI Docs - 2015
  • Tribeca Film Festival - 2015
  • Ambulante Documentary Film Festival - 2015
  • Naples International Film Festival - 2015
    Impact Award
  • Boulder International Film Festival - 2015
    Call 2 Action Film Award
  • Indie Fest Film Awards - 2015
    Award of Excellence
  • Women's Independent Film Festival - 2015

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  • Longer Synopsis

    Tech jobs are growing three times faster than our colleges are producing computer science graduates. By 2020, there will be one million unfilled software engineering jobs in the USA. Through compelling interviews, artistic animation and clever flashpoints in popular culture, CODE documentary examines the reasons why more girls and people of color are not seeking opportunities in computer science and explores how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in this national crisis. Expert voices from the worlds of tech, psychology, science, and education are intercut with inspiring stories of women who are engaged in the fight to challenge complacency in the tech industry and have their voices heard. CODE aims to inspire change in mindsets, in the educational system, in startup culture and in the way women see themselves in the field of coding.

  • Director’s Statement

    Early one morning in the spring of 2013, my daughter called home from college announcing she intended to drop her computer science major. “I’m really bad at it,” she says. “I’m the worst in the class; I don’t fit in.” Her confidence was shaken by being one of just two women in a class of 25, and by not having the resources to support her. After taking 3 computer science classes, she drops the CS major. Turns out she was earning a B.
    That same spring, weekly headlines in national newspapers declared the importance of attaining some level of computer science knowledge in college. Want a job out of college? Study computer science. A White House study stated that by 2020 there would be 1 million unfilled computer science jobs in the USA. What is going on here? With tech jobs plentiful and lucrative, why is the supply / demand ratio so skewed? Well, the tech industry is missing half the population.
    Together with Producer Staci Hartman, I set out to debug the reasons behind the gender gap and digital divide. For the most part, Silicon Valley availed itself to our inquisition, and with each interview – whether at Yelp, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Strava, Pandora, GitHub or Pivotal – we learned that the underlying currents which dissuaded women and people of color from pursuing coding jobs and resulted in the dearth of minorities in tech, were systemic, pervasive, and complex. Mindsets, stereotypes, clogs in the educational pipeline, startup culture, lack of role models and sexism all play important roles in this mounting gender, ethnicity and economic issue.
    Professor Claude Steele says it takes about a generation to change a stereotype. As director of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, I hope to inspire our audience to begin that change. Change in the way our school system values computer science education; change in the way we think of a programmer; change in the way women and people of color view themselves in the tech field.
    I am honored to have directed CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. I am grateful to the many tech companies who opened their doors to me and the CODE crew, and to the inspiring women and men in tech who availed themselves to our cameras and questions. I am forever changed by meeting women in tech who have overcome myriad obstacles in order to pursue their passion for coding. I am proud to be able to share some of these stories with the world, and I remain hopeful that through CODE documentary I will encourage more people in tech to join the movement to make the industry more inclusive and thus more efficient for all.

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