Pilbara News

Women connect with tech

- Shannon Beattie

A free workshop designed to get more women interested in tech came to the Pilbara last week and gave them the opportunit­y to try their hand at web developmen­t and coding.

Karratha-born and Bunburyrai­sed Kate Kirwin founded Perth {web} Girls four years ago and over the last 12 months has been working to bring the movement to regional areas.

The Pilbara {web} Girls program visited Port Hedland once last year and on Sunday, May 19 it hit Karratha for the first time, giving women the chance to run through self-paced tutorials.

Ms Kirwin said when she started coding, she wanted to learn more, but a lot of the environmen­ts to do that in were heavily male-dominated and not as fun as she wanted them to be.

“There are a lot of things that are quite easy, but you say coding, programmin­g or web developing and people freak out because they think it’s really difficult,” she said.

“But in the space of a day, we’ve got people who have built a simple game, website or blog post and got it up and running within six or seven hours.”

With 75 per cent of the fastestgro­wing occupation­s already needing some form of basic understand­ing of tech, Ms Kirwin believes that number is only going to grow as more jobs move into a digital space. “One of the things that really bothers me with such a low percentage of women in tech, about 28 per cent at the moment, is there are no role models to look to,” she said.

“So that number doesn’t move because women can’t see other women going along that journey.”

The Pilbara {web} Girls regional workshops are supported by the State Government.

 ?? Picture: Shannon Beattie ?? Megan Lonergan, mentor James Prnich, Jennifer Caldwell and Perth {web} Girls founder Kate Kirwin.
Picture: Shannon Beattie Megan Lonergan, mentor James Prnich, Jennifer Caldwell and Perth {web} Girls founder Kate Kirwin.

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