Teodora Gheorghiu is from Bucharest, Romania and studies sociology with quantitative research methods. As well as being the Course Ambassador for CodeFirst: Girls, she is also the Secretary of Inc. and the Performance Rep. of the Dance Society.
If you’re interested in learning how to code, please register your interest here for 2016.
What is CodeFirst: Girls?
CodeFirst is an organization that runs free coding courses for girls across the UK. It also serves to connect young women to a community of other talented and likeminded women, who can support and accompany them throughout their professional development.
How long has it been affiliated with Bristol?
It has only been two years, but we’ve already made a noticeable difference. At the same time, there are many societies and projects emerging such as Women in Science, Women in STEM, Women in Engineering and Women in Leadership. So CodeFirst is part of a whole growing concept of promoting more women in fields that are generally dominated by men.
What does your role as Course Ambassador involve?
I publicize the course, tell people about the benefits and try to get girls to sign up! I’m also in charge of creating a cohesive atmosphere in the group, such as by organizing socials, so that there is a good group dynamic going on. I also get to learn how to code, which is really great.
(Photo Credit: www.codefirstgirls.org.uk)
How did you get involved in CodeFirst?
I initially got involved with Inc. – Bristol’s Enterprise society and Izzy, the outgoing president, suggested that I apply. I googled the organization and was really interested, so I applied, got an interview in early summer and then got the position!
Why is it free for girls only?
The answer to this relates to explaining the need for feminism. If we’re to strive for equality, we must first recognize the culture of privilege and understand that there are undermined groups that need to be addressed. Currently, there are nowhere nearly as many women in tech as there are men and it’s not because women don’t want to, or that they don’t have it in them to code. I believe it’s because girls are told from a rather early age of the kinds of qualities they’re expected to have. While attentive to detail, cautious and docile are on that list, computer savvy is most often not. So CodeFirst: Girls wants to help straighten out this imbalance and show women that they can do what they want by providing them with a hands-on skill that opens doors to a male dominated sector.
Is having the ability to code coding related to what you want to do in the future?
I’m not sure yet, but I definitely know that entrepreneurship is something that I really want to do and I’m particularly passionate about social entrepreneurship. I know that I’ll have quite a low budget at the beginning, as I won’t have any big investors backing me up. If I can make the website, some back-hand programming and create some tools and buttons, I’ll save myself a lot of money. These days, an online presence is vital for a business, so I think it would be great to be able to do this on my own without having to ask for help or pay anybody to do it for me at the beginning.