Meet the Winners – Code First Girls

The trophies have been given out, toasts have been made and the canapés have been eaten. After four fantastic global events recognizing the work of organizations and individuals across the cloud industry, the Digital Revolution Awards 2023 season has come to a close.

Throughout the Digital Revolution Awards 2023 events, we saw many outstanding winners take the stage, receiving a round of applause for making a positive impact on our world through the use of cloud technology.

Now it’s time to shine a spotlight on some of those worthy victors and showcase the fantastic work that made them winners in the Digital Revolution Awards.

In this Meet the Winners blog, we’re getting to know our Excellence in Learning and Development (UK) winner, Code First Girls, who were also highly commended in our global show.

Our Excellence in Learning and Development Award recognizes an organization that’s leading the way in addressing the cloud skills gap. We all know that continuous upskilling is vital. If we’re going to make sure that the products and services we deliver in this industry can keep pace with cloud technology’s constant evolution, we need people with the right skills on hand to support that evolution.

We were looking for an outfit that’s creating highly skilled learners and making a tangible, impactful contribution to the collective development of our ecosystem’s workforce. And there aren’t many organizations that are doing this on such a large scale as Code First Girls.

With a laser focus on the development and empowerment of the next generation of tech superstars,  non-profit organization Code First Girls is delivering accessible, equitable education with the power to change our industry.

Aiming to close the gender gap in the technology industry, the organization provides free coding courses and events for women and non-binary people. In addition to these free, in-person, part-time coding courses, Code First Girls also provides mentorship and networking opportunities to help budding technologists build their networks and their confidence.

Offering a range of free courses tailored for everyone from university students and recent graduates to tech returners, career switchers, and parents, Code First Girls provides several pathways into tech roles to ensure there’s a route that works for all.

Through ten years of community education and dozens of accessible courses, Code First Girls has built a thriving community. In this age of skills shortages and persistent inequality, it is providing a desperately needed service; one with matchless reach and an immeasurable ongoing impact.

Thanks to its efforts to improve employability, diversity and social mobility through education, Code First Girls is transforming local economies and communities in a salient and practical way. Beginning its mission in the UK and Ireland, Code First Girls now provides free education to women and non-binary folks across the world and has already built a community of 120,000 learners. It now operates one of the largest and most diverse global communities of working coders, instructors, and mentors, partnering with over 120 companies and 80 universities.

Our judges were bowled over by the impact that Code First Girls is making in the UK’s cloud industry through its wide-reaching advocacy for getting women into coding careers. Here’s what a few of them had to say about the organization:

“Code First Girls was my top one. I think it’s really good to be empowering women to start sustainable careers and get better-paid jobs effectively. That’s really going to help with the gender pay gap. Plus, it’s run at scale, and they’re tackling people at a very early age as well, which has got to be good for the whole industry.”

“I’ve got a daughter and I’m well aware of some of the issues that she’s going to have moving into the workforce, so I think Code First Girls is brilliant. I just love their story and their ability to engage with everyone from more experienced backgrounds to stay-at-home mums and bring them into tech. It’s good for everybody.”

“We need more women in technology. We definitely need to start educating girls at a younger age, encourage them to move into tech, and make sure they realize that a career in technology is a viable option for them. So I think this is a great organization.”

We caught up with CEO and Co-founder Anna Brailsford after Code First Girls scooped the award at the UK ceremony.

“It’s amazing, it’s so super cool,” said Anna, who was highly commended in the Outstanding Leader of the Year category. “There are amazing people in the room, fantastic representation from the cloud community and what this represents for us is that we’re really demonstrating a difference for getting more women into cloud.”

Not content with its incredible achievements to date, Code First Girls has big plans for the future. “We’ve trained 120,000 women how to code for free, and we align those women to companies in our portfolio,” explained Anna. “It’s our aim to get 26,000 women into jobs.”

“The more people can get involved, the more fuss we can make, the better.”

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