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Press Release

Hackergal Receives $1M in Government Funding to Reach New Heights with Coding Education for Girls

By Press Release

Toronto, September 19, 2019 – Hackergal, a not-for-profit organization that introduces young girls across Canada to coding, has received $1 million from the Government of Canada’s CanCode funding, which has allowed them to launch Hackergal 2.0: Reaching New Heights.

As one of the 21 organizations to receive a collective $12.4 million from the second stream of CanCode funding over the next two years, Hackergal 2.0: Reaching New Heights initiative will deliver training on the basics of coding through workshops and semiannual hackathons in schools from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

It is important we provide opportunities for young girls to see themselves beyond gender stereotypes and see how capable they are as engineers, scientists, and technology leaders starting at an early age. By providing environments where girls can be inspired, be curious, and ask questions, girls will use technology to shape the world we live in for the better. That’s what I see through our hackathons each year.

— Lucy Ho, Co-Founder & Executive Director

The Hackergal 2.0: Reaching New Heights initiative will:

  • Develop an online portal for program delivery to increase Hackergal’s impact through their nationwide in-school hackathons
  • Build its program reach to engage over 17,000 new girls to learn code across Canada
  • Provide training and development opportunities for over 850 educators on digital skills
  • Create customized coding and technology-related educational resources to support provincial and territorial curricula requirements
  • Expand program delivery into Quebec and French-speaking schools across participating provinces and territories

Since Hackergal’s initial launch in late 2015, Hackegal has increased the number of girls engaged in their hackathon education program from 300+ girls in Ontario to over 7,500 girls this past year across all provinces. With the support of CanCode, Hackergal will expand programming to support girls in traditionally underrepresented groups with the goal to bring code education to 50,000+ girls cumulatively over the next three years.

Hackergal has evolved under Lucy’s leadership to become the largest hackathon in Canadian history, as measured by the number of participants. I cannot understate the true innovation from the Hackergal team, the ability to host a national learning event with 100+ schools from Western to Atlantic Canada culminating in a hackathon within which diverse teachers are able to lead girls through the process of learning a programming language. It’s remarkable. Now with the support of the Government of Canada, we are excited to grow Hackergal many times larger. Our ultimate objective is to dramatically change what we believe is the largest gender gap in society today – developers.

— Ray Sharma, Co-Founder & Chair

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About Hackergal
Hackergal was founded in 2015 with the mission to introduce girls across Canada to computer science through its hackathon program. The not-for-profit’s goal is to create a national movement of girls coding — ultimately closing the gender gap in technology and computer science — by sparking their interest and confidence at an early age. To learn more or register your school for Hackergal’s 5th Annual Hackathon this Fall, reach out to the team by emailing hello@hackergal.org.