If women coders disappeared, the internet as we know it would not exist, according to a new Girls Who Code campaign. The nonprofit, which works to close the gender gap in technology, has put out a new film and website to show female coders’ contributions and how broken the internet would be without the valuable work done by women.
The short film “Missing Code” kicks off the campaign and features a young woman trying to navigate a glitchy, faulty internet. After a series of wild visuals, the browser ends up on a news story that states 26% of all code has vanished from the internet, highlighting the real statistic that in 2020, women held just 26% of computing jobs.
The film, which includes a cameo by singer-songwriter-actor-gamer mxmtoon, ends with the statement, “If girls didn’t code, the world would notice.”
To bring its creative vision to life, agency Mojo Supermarket brought in director/writer Sonejuhi Sinha and her team from division7 creative studio and its animation partners, the shy kids.
The campaign also includes an interactive portal where visitors can surf an alternate, dystopian internet that’s missing the code written by women. The portal features mocked-up homepages of top platforms, including Teen Vogue, Sephora and Adidas, reprogrammed to show just how crucial women are to the field.
“We needed something that grabs attention and changes the way people see this industry,” explained Mo Said, founder and chief creative officer of Mojo Supermarket. “Everyone thinks of coders as nerdy guys in loose-fitting hoodies. We wanted to engage teens and actually change that perception. How do you show that the internet needs women coders? By showing just how much it would suck without them.”
Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, added, “With this campaign, we’re hoping to inspire the next generation of women coders by showing them what the world would look like if they weren’t building it, designing it, coding it. Because without their contributions, the world as we know it would fall apart.”
The campaign kicks off today in tandem with Computer Science Education Week and will run throughout the week on Girls Who Code’s social media channels. It was made possible with the support of Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the If/Then Initiative.
Girls Who Code recently teamed up with TikTok to launch #MarchForSisterhood, a digital “march” of women sharing videos and posts representing what sisterhood means to them.
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