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The technology industry has made many advancements to improve diversity in its ranks, but women still remain underrepresented in tech. Despite the fact that women account for around 59% of the total workforce in the US, only 20% are in tech roles at major tech companies. If you include non-tech roles at major tech organizations, such as Marketing and HR, this number increases to 30%. 

The statistics are similar when one looks at it from a global perspective. According to Michael Krigsman, an Industry Analyst, “13% of the global Fortune 500 were women, and that’s not just Chief of Information Security Officers (CISOs). That’s CISOs, CIOs, and senior executives such as a VP in the technology arena. It’s still a very, very small amount that equates to about 65 companies out of the 500,” said Krigsman. The question of diversity is no longer limited to election campaigns and political protests but is also on boardroom agendas across the country.

Women's History Month

At Udacity, we’re proud  of our women graduates who share their stories of growth and success. What’s more, we have an immense swell of pride when we see Nanodegree graduates go on to mentor and sponsor other students. One of those stellar graduates is Ire Aderinkun. 

Udacity Nanodegree Graduate Opening Doors for Other Female Students

Meet Ire Aderinokun, co-founder of BuyCoins — an African cryptocurrency exchange — and two-time Nanodegree graduate. Over the last two years, Ire offered scholarships to 17 Nigerian women. 

Hamdalah Hanafi, a Digital Marketer from Nigeria, is one of these women. “In 2019, I got a scholarship to take Udacity’s Marketing Analytics Nanodegree Program. After graduating, I enrolled for Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree program, said Hamdalah.

“Today, I am a graduate from these two Nanodegree programs. It was a fun, exciting, and demanding experience but totally worth it especially after finishing 11 projects within two and a half weeks. With the real-life projects, classroom examples, and amazing instructors, I was glad I took the second Nanodegree program and I still hope to take more in my line of career,” Hanafi added.

When asked what motivated Ire to sponsor female students, Hanafi happily chuckles, “Because I am able to, and because it had such a positive impact on me.” 

“I wanted to share that experience with as many people as I could. In most professional situations, I’m typically the only black Nigerian woman, and I wanted to try to change that. I was lucky enough to be in a position where I could pay for the Nanodegree programs myself, but most people aren’t,” she said. 

Ire added, “I believe that there aren’t many black female developers, particularly in Nigeria because it’s difficult for them to get into the field, even at the stage of education. So when it comes to hiring, there are very few women to pick from. 

“We’ve experienced this problem while hiring in my company (which is why we’re running an internship for women). I believe the only way to fix this is by getting more women to the field at the education stage thereby giving more employers the option to pick qualified women,” she concluded.

Working Mothers Use Nanodegree Programs to Find a Path to Tech Careers

While Ire and Hamdalah have both fought for societal challenges, there are many women who compromise on their career willingly to take care of their families. Such is the case with Yamini from Hyderabad, India (now living in the US). “I used to work at Infosys, Hyderabad as a Data Analyst and later as a consultant until 2008. I quit my job in December 2008 to care [of] my elder son and became a full-time stay-at-home mom,“ said Yamini.

Yamini continued to explain that she and her family came to the US in 2012 and that she struggled to find a job.  

“My husband suggested that I take Udacity’s  Front End Nanodegree program because he thought web-development could get me a much-needed break,” she recounted.

“I then made a web-page (https://yamini32812.github.io/index.html) with my resume to showcase my projects and previous technical work. In Sept 2019, I finally got a job as a Jr. Data Analyst. I am now an Assistant to my Team Lead. Apart from that, I volunteer on Sundays to teach my mother-tongue, Telugu, to kids. I feel I am living a full life as a ‘working mother’ and a teacher apart from cooking, arranging kids’ play-dates, as well as helping my kids with their projects and homework.” 

Udacity Nanodegree Graduates Transition Their Career in the Field of Their Choice 

While Yamini chose to take a sabbatical to take care of her child, Marcela — a professional lawyer — wanted to do something in the field of technology. However, she didn’t know how and where to begin. Thanks to her husband, an Android Developer, she was introduced to Udacity and enrolled in the iOS Developer Nanodegree Program

Today, Marcela is proudly doing what she set out to do. “The project reviews are honest and clear so you learn from them and improve your code. I think this assistance is one of the most important things! If you’re not from the field, or even if you are, you can get stuck, so it’s always good to have people to help you. Overall, I just have to say that Udacity helped me a lot to become an iOS Developer. Thanks to this course, I’m an associate iOS developer at a big agency in London. I got my job just two months after graduation,” she said.

We are proud to have been associated with the journey of these incredibly inspiring women who have not only taken charge of their careers but have also set examples for society and in some cases are making history.

This is the best time to enroll in your desired Nanodegree program. We’re running a 50% discount on all our programs today! Learn more.

Reach out to us if you want to share how you furthered your education with Udacity and be featured on Udacity’s blog. 

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