Code First Girls, the UK social enterprise working to close the gender gap in technology, has today announced it has surpassed its 2017 campaign goal to teach over 20,000 young women how to code in the UK and Ireland.

Then enterprise reports that over the past three years it has become the largest provider of free coding courses for women, having delivered over £14m worth of free technology education.

It reports that only 19 percent of those pursuing Computer Science at higher education level are women, and has pledged to double its community of women in technology in 2021, in an effort to close the gap.

In the last year, Code First Girls says it has taught over three times as many women to code than the entire UK university undergraduate system.

As part of their new strategy, Code First Girls is working with UK employers to develop twelve week ‘nano degree’ programmes, which train women for jobs including software developers.

The social enterprise will also offer a breadth of short and accessible online courses designed to impart technical skills, confidence or career discovery and classes to teach coding fundamentals in web development, Python or data.

The social enterprise is also actively investing in developing the community network and access through its mentorship programme to build confidence and facilitate career paths, targeting imposter syndrome.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to deliver on our promise to help 20,000 women learn to code. But we are just getting started. We’re launching a new strategy and urging businesses to help close the gender gap further through investing in female talent that want a career in tech, and create additional possibilities for them.” said Anna Brailsford, CEO at Code First Girls.

Alice Bentinck MBE, co-founder of Code First Girls and Entrepreneur First, added: “Over the last three years, Code First Girls has made huge strides in getting more women in technology through partnering with universities and businesses to run coding, mentorship and upskill programmes. The work the team is doing is fundamental to closing the skills gap and enabling young women to feel empowered to select a wide range of careers available in technology, as well as providing them with the confidence to succeed.”