What Women Who Code Is Doing In Tokyo

And similarly in 70 other cities around the world

Author: tuttiq Published on: April 6, 2019

Hi there! 👋

If you don’t know me yet, I’m Tutti, software engineer, manager, and volunteer leader of some developer communities. You can check more about me and my background on the About Me page of this website.

Today I want to talk a bit about what we are doing here at Women Who Code Tokyo chapter and how I’m leveraging this volunteer leadership opportunity to gain professional skills, real-world experience and advance my career.

Women Who Code is a global non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. The vision of the organization is a world where women are proportionally represented in the tech industry, as engineers, leaders, VCs, founders and board members.

Women Who Code commitments

Among many other pieces of evidence, the Global Gender Gap Report 2018 by World Economic Forum shows that we still have a really long way to go to achieve equality of genders regarding economic participation and political empowerment. And Japan places especially low on that ranking.

As a volunteer director of Women Who Code, I organize events and manage the community in Tokyo. We run about 2 events per month targeted to women in the tech industry or interested in getting into tech. Our events vary from casual study groups to hands-on workshops and talk nights, featuring inspiring role models in the industry speaking about tech or career development.

Lightning Talk Night about "Careers in Tech: Keep Moving"

Of course, many of WWCode activities would not be possible without the help of our hard-working volunteers and the great support of our sponsors. It is a lot of work to run a community with such an important mission: we hold meetings to define our goals and priorities, run surveys and do research to better understand the community needs, and take care of conceptualizing and organizing the events, all the logistics and PR involved to get participants to come and have a good experience. Not to mention the extra things that strengthen our brand and our team: social media engagement, branded products, reaching out for strong partnerships, creating guidelines and documents to support volunteers, etc.

Our Notion workspace. Looks pretty much like we are running a company lol

But it’s not all hard work. There are many rewards as well. Not only the heart-warming reward of seeing the impact of each one of our actions in other people’s lives, but volunteer leaders and directors also develop a comprehensive set of skills and get exposed to a lot of opportunities during their time working for WWCode.We basically develop the work experience and networking of being a leader in the industry, and that has a big impact on our own careers. Since becoming a WWCode director, my leadership skills (management, mentoring, public speaking, negotiating, etc) improved a lot. My confidence and network has increased dramatically. I was approached by companies and people I thought were unreachable before, I’ve participated in events and meetings I never thought I’d be anywhere close before, and these opportunities had a big impact on my life and my career.

And of course, as we grow further, our impact also becomes bigger, as we become role models and mentors to inspire other women around us. I have no words to describe how good it feels when one of our members or leaders share some of their career achievements like getting a better job or just having the confidence to submit a talk proposal to a conference.

I got more confident in public speaking after I joined WWCode as a Director

As for our sponsors, we make partnerships with companies that support WWCode’s mission so we can have a venue and amenities to run our events with the quality our members deserve. My current company, Mercari, is a big supporter of WWCode Tokyo chapter and recently they also became the first Japanese company to sponsor WWCode’s global tech conference CONNECT 2019 that happened in San Francisco on April 13th. I’m incredibly proud of that achievement, both for Mercari and for Women Who Code. And many other companies have already helped us in Tokyo, like Google, Amazon, Code Chrysalis and Yahoo! LODGE.

Event at the Mercari office. Great space and great food!

From now on, I hope we can keep inspiring and changing women’s lives in Tokyo and around the world. Women Who Code already has more than 60 chapters and 180,000 members all over the world, and I hope we will keep growing more and more. If you’re interested in getting involved with our mission, you can follow one of the links below:

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So, how was it? I hope not so bad for a first article.

If you liked it or think this article was helpful somehow, please leave some claps :) I also invite you to leave a comment with any feedback, questions or just saying “Hi!”.

Thanks for reading! :)