It’s 2023, and women are at the helm in all industries, yet we can still hear biased opinions that some professions are only for men.  

Since March is Women’s Month, we’ve launched several campaigns to empower and encourage women in the IT world (and in general). However, as we’re primarily engineers, we think that actions speak louder than words.  

BrightMarbles Group is here to disrupt traditional beliefs and lead by example(s) to show how brilliant our female Mibsters are.  

Hence, as part of the Women’s Month Campaign – Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality – BrightMarbles is hosting a free programming workshop just for your little ones. It’s a wonderful opportunity for girls between 10 and 13 (currently in the 4th to 8th grade of elementary school) to learn problem-solving skills and express their creativity by programming their own interactive stories and games. 

We’ve targeted these ages because those kids already possess enough knowledge of English and math to successfully follow the lecture and activities. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain why we decided to organize this programming workshop for young girls and talk about the status of women in the IT and STEM industries. 

(Fewer) Women in STEM – Cause and Effect 

According to The Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, about 50% of all the registered employees in Serbia are women. Unfortunately, this percentage drops to 20-25% in the STEM fields.  

What does affect these figures? For starters, it’s a lack of role models and mentors, as well as a relatively challenging work environment; but that’s only the result.  

The cause, on the other hand, has a deeper root. Namely, our kids’ upbringing was based on bias for decades. Today, things are changing, but progress is slow. We still impose gender roles and stereotypes onto our children from an early age. Girls get dolls and kitchen sets, and pink is the predominant color in their closets. At the same time, boys get Lego bricks, cars, and science kits.  

We teach our daughters to be empathic and kind while decisive and ambitious behavioral patterns are frowned upon. 

Well, guess what: it’s not girls who don’t like technology; we treat them as if they weren’t interested in it.   

Even when little girls show interest and talent for, say, physics or information technology, teachers often fail to properly encourage them. And if they get support neither at home nor at school, their self-confidence drops, and their once-strong wish to take part in IT projects simply wanes.  

So, one of the major goals of this workshop is to let our little girls dive into the world of programming – one of the most propulsive engineering branches for the time being. 

IT Logic and Misconceptions 

Another (mis)conception is that programming is a logical, mathematical profession for which men are naturally more talented. This is simply so wrong, and our mission is to prove how incorrect such stereotypes are. 

At BrightMarbles, we’ve been working hard to develop a different approach to these matters. As an equal-opportunity employer, we actively promote, advocate, and encourage a business environment in which everyone can thrive. By everyone, we mean people of different genders (or no gender at all), races, nationalities, religious beliefs, etc.  

Our goal from day one was to build a cohesive and mutually supportive work community and disrupt the existing relations in the IT market.  

Disrupting the (SY)STEM Flaws 

We can proudly say we’ve shattered the glass ceiling and nurtured some of the most outstanding female leaders in the local tech industry. For us, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman or a man (or somewhere in between). It’s your ability, knowledge, and passion for new challenges that make you a great Mibster. 

We want our girls to know that they can be whatever they want. That’s why we’re disrupting the (SY)STEM flaws, making talented young women choose information technology as their career path. The more girls and young women we convince to pursue a career in STEM and IT, the more accomplished scientists and experts we’ll have in the future.  

The Workshop Details 

Now, a few details on the workshop itself. 

It’s scheduled for Saturday, March 18, at 10 am, in our office at Bulevar Oslobođenja 62, in Novi Sad. There will be two groups, with twelve girls in each group. 

Our lecturers are:  

  • Red group: Brane Opačić, Filip Kiš, and Aleksandar Beronja  
  • Blue group: Srđan Marjanović, Jovana Pantić, and Marko Reljić 

The plan is to have three standard school classes (3x45min) with breaks. We’ll teach attendees how to program the Pong video game in the Scratch programming language. It’s one of the first video games ever made, so it’ll be a nice combo of tech and history. 

BM Insight: Scratch is a special programming language, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It’s a purpose-made, block-based visual language for children, youngsters, and adult people with no coding knowledge, meant to encourage these groups in making their programming baby steps.  

This is only the beginning of your programming journey with BrightMarbles. We’re planning to throw new workshops soon, where you’ll have a chance to code some of your favorite cartoons, games, or characters.  

Last but Not Least 

We can’t stress enough how excited we are to be the game-changers who are showing that girls and women rock the IT world at least as fiercely as their male colleagues. May the code be with you and let’s march through the world of programming all year with STEM women and girls.  

About Author

Pavle Bobic, BrightMarbles’ resident wordsmith extraordinaire. With a passion for wordplay and a keen eye for eye-grabbing marketing materials, Pavle has produced top-quality web content and copies for fintech, IT, and eCommerce since 2013. Now, he’s bringing his wealth of experience and expertise to the BrightMarbles team, making an impact by creating distinguished content across various online channels.