Girls Who Code CHICO in the Chico ER

Rather than just lamenting over the gender gap in tech jobs, a female employee at one Chico company is aggressively working to change the ratios.

And she wants local girls from sixth to 12th grade to think about the possibilities. employee Dani Dirks, who is the only female software developer for the online home improvement retailer, is launching a local club to help high school girls learn about computer coding.

She is starting a local chapter of Girls Who Code, which is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to women and technology.

Starting in January, Dirks will host a free, two-hour weekly session Wednesdays at Chico High School’s library for Girls Who Code. Unpaid, she will lead the 20-week session with topics ranging from learning about coding and making apps, to creating games and websites. The point is to learn about technology, learn the basics of coding and possibly end up with an internship or job.

“Nationally, Girls Who Code have trained about 10,000 girls in coding,” Dirks told this newspaper, saying that is enthusiastically supporting her involvement.

The Chico company is giving her the hours off to lead the sessions, and hopes to help in other ways. Dirks said she’s already had interest from two orientations at Chico High and Pleasant Valley attended by about 50 girls.

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