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Calgary non-profit Making Changes offers a free six-month full-stack web development course to empower more women to enter the tech industry. Since moving the course online, executive director Cathy Coutts said there has been better attendance, better participation and better outcomes overall.

“We do our best to make the Women in Tech program barrier-free. I think being virtual really does eliminate transportation, timing and child-care barriers, which is the main thing,” Coutts said.

“The objective behind all of our programs is that women really feel empowered to become leaders within the community, and to be able to make career choices in the manner that they want to.”

Jobless rates among visible minority women are higher as well, according to the RBC report. Many still face double-digit unemployment rates, compared with a jobless rate of 9.7 per cent for women overall.

On International Women’s Day on Tuesday, Making Changes partnered with Calgary AI company Braintoy and Convergence.Tech to host a free verified micro-credential machine learning workshop for immigrant women.

Swapnaja Pitale is finishing the web development course and completed the half-day workshop on Tuesday.

Despite her diploma and seven years of experience as a research analyst, Pitale said she struggled to find a sustainable job when she moved to Canada at the start of the pandemic.

“For so long, all industries, all sectors were male-dominated. But now, more and more women are entrepreneurs and in senior leadership positions. I see how the world is changing, and it really inspires me to do something about it.”

Read the full Calgary Herald article here.