Melbourne-based digital marketplace startup Envato is partnering with Code Like a Girl in an effort to improve gender diversity, not only in its own business, but in the wider Victorian tech sector.
The partnership comes as part of Envato’s new diversity and inclusion strategy, which aims to improve gender diversity and address LGBTQI and mental health issues.
Code Like a Girl’s female-first ethos aims to address the gender imbalance in the tech sector by equipping girls with the knowledge, tools and support to write code. By addressing cultural issues, stereotyping and unconscious bias in the tech industry, the organisation wants to bolster a future of female role models in tech.
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Envato’s inclusion and diversity advisor Abbie Burgess says Code Like a Girl “seemed like a natural fit” when Envato was devising its gender inclusion strategies.
“This is a partnership where we’ve both got some strengths we can bring to the table, with the common goal of helping women in the technology industry,” she says.
For the Code Like a Girl community, the partnership with Envato allows them to promote their message to a wider audience. With Envato’s most popular site, ThemeForest, ranked as the 204th most visited site in the world, the partnership offers a key opportunity for exposure.
“Partnering with organisations like Envato that have a genuine commitment to achieving gender equality, particularly in technical fields, is critical for us to achieve our mission to ensure that all girls, regardless of background have the opportunity to develop coding and digital literacy skills and be ready for jobs of the future,” says Code Like A Girl co-founder Vanessa Doake.
Envato operates on a global scale, giving creatives a platform to sell digital assets such as WordPress themes, graphic design plugins and video content. With an online community of roughly 6 million members and a staff of almost 200, it’s clear why diversity and inclusion will play such a key role in sustaining the company’s growth.
Envato has kept commitment to the community at the core of its business model, and Burgess believes the partnership will provide essential support for female developers in Victoria’s technology sector.
“We take seriously our role as a leader in Australia’s tech community,” she says.
“The need to provide better support for women coders who wish to work in the industry has been a priority for many organisations, and we’re proud to play a role in helping to ensure such support can reach more people than ever before.”
The partnership will involve a quarterly women’s leadership and development workshop, an ongoing series of presentations, as well as mentoring and mentee opportunities between Envato staff and the Code Like a Girl community.
For Doake, the decision to partner with Envato was an easy one.
“Envato has been one of our earliest supporters of the work we were doing. It’s always held a place, particularly in Melbourne, of being a really progressive employer and challenging the status quo,” she says.
It’s this commitment to progressive practices that has the potential to influence cultural change in the tech sector, and Doake notes that the current industry landscape could soon be undertaking a seismic shift.
“As large companies like Envato make a real stand to moving the needle on gender diversity, it will inspire other organisations to do the same,” she says.