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All moms are busy, but some are choosing to stay even busier.
One such mom is Christie Stephenson, a Utah native with six children who is a strong advocate for women in technology, and who recently completed a nine-week computer programming course. Stephenson encourages her five daughters to pursue opportunities to excel in the technology field, and for a good reason.
Forbes.com reported last year that according to a study done by technology website Dice, the pay gap for men and women programmers has disappeared. The study reports that "average salaries are equal for male and female tech pros, provided we’re comparing equal levels of experience and education and parallel job titles."
Women make up about 12 percent of programmers and developers in today’s workforce. However, Stephenson hopes to see that number increase and encourages many women to pursue computer programming.
Though at the beginning, coding didn’t come easily for her.
“It's like a foreign language, so it's all very new,” Stephenson said. “The first day (of the course) I felt very overwhelmed. I went home and called my mom and said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ I cried. But I went to bed and the next morning I thought, ‘I can do this.’ ”
By participating in a nine-week course, individuals like Stephenson can train to become programmers and developers, and there is no experience necessary. Stay-at-home moms, working professionals, recent high school graduates and entrepreneurs with little or no prior programming experience are all welcome to develop coding skills, learn to build unique products and improve their career opportunities.
“You definitely have your logical and mathematical people,” Stephenson said. “(But) if someone is excited about code and wants to learn how, they can do it.”
For stay-at-home mom Melanie Call, a chance to code offered more than just a steady salary, it gave her a chance to make an income from home.
“I feel like there are more possibilities for myself and more ideas are starting to come to me,” she said. “I have six children at home, and it's not like I can get a 9-5 job, but it really opens the door to more possibilities.”
Carah Burrell, who is taking a programming course through a different institute, echoes Call's sentiments, saying that her new skills have changed her goals and ambitions and made her realize all that she is capable of doing.