'Code Ninjas' coding center is helping women enter the world of tech

Posted at 7:01 AM, Mar 22, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Women hold more than half the jobs in the economy, but only about 25-percent of the jobs in tech. Now, a Franklin company is trying to change that stat -- one girl at a time.

Romey Nelson is breaking her way into the world of technology. Nelson is only 11 years-old but she's the first girl in Tennessee to achieve a "yellow belt" in computer coding.

"You start on white belt and then yellow belt is javascript," she said.

"Code Ninjas" treat computer skills like martial arts. The students work their way up the ladder. Most of those students are still boys.

"It doesn’t really bother me," she said, "It doesn’t really matter. The boys don’t bug me and it’s just fun being one of the only girls there."

Amy Henderson is the President & COO at the Nashville Software School.

"Middle School is the time to expose these students to the opportunities, to the chances," she said.

Henderson has been in tech for more than two decades.

"When I came out of school it was something that was definitely lacking," she acknowledged.

And says while the number of women in the field has improved, we still have a very long way to go.

Bella Blanketbaker is 14 year-old. She stumbled onto coding in the 7th grade. She says teaching herself was challenging and wishes "Code Ninjas" had been around to help her make her way up the ladder.

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