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Good Practices

The Finnish Mimmit Koodaa (Women Coding) initiative is a series of free and easily accessible coding workshops for women. The initiative's goal is to improve equality in the Finnish ICT industry, inspire more women to explore careers in the software industry, and break stereotypes (like coding being a male profession, etc). 

By encouraging women and individuals seeking new career paths, the program aims to offer at least a few solutions to tackling the huge shortage of skilled employees in the IT sector. 

Background, objectives, context 

Diversity is not a unique issue to the ICT sector in Europe, but its margins get quite big in the tech ecosystem, which has for decades predominantly employed men. Prejudices prevail today too: for many women, the ICT sector is associated with lack of familiarity, rather than with more (and better) opportunities. In 2018, the Mimmit Koodaa initiative came into existence as an attempt to bridge the gender skills gap in the tech ecosystem. The program not only supports the development of the IT sector in Finland, but also contributes to the creation of world-class, high-quality software. It provides easily accessible coding workshops for women who are interested in coding but have no previous experience.  The program provides easily accessible coding workshops free
of charge for women who are interested in coding but have no previ
experience.Behind the program is the Finnish Software Association, a community with more than 600 participating member companies (either software, or software-related companies), active on the market since 1993. Around 100 companies take part in the Mimmit Koodaa initiative, making it one of the top ones in popurity in Finland.

Why is this a good practice?

Mimmit Koodaa's fame grew fast. In 2018 and two launch events later, almost 1000 successful workshop days had been organised. Even then, a large number (around 3.500) women had already joined - and this was going to increase even more. In 2019, the European Economic and Social Committee awarded the Mimmit Koodaa program with the EU Equality Prize, for its contribution to diversity in Finland, Europe, and beyond. In 2019, the Mimmit Koodaa program had already gathered 5.000 women eager to start coding. In the year 2021, the program reached a record number of 10,000 women throughout Finland. 

Figures for 2022 point to a success of similar heights. Over 80 events were organised, and more than 6.000 people took part in activities. Just for 2022, the program successfully established partnerships and collaborations with 21 organisations, and 50 different companies - and has continued to expand to further regions and local contexts. 

Good practice details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital technology / specialisation
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Personal skills and development
Work skills
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
Database and network design and administration
Software and applications development and analysis
Geographical sphere
National initiative
Type of funding