08/27/2013 08:36 am ET Updated Sep 16, 2013

Kathryn Parsons, Decoded Founder, On The 'Dangerous Illusion' That Keeps Women Out Of Tech


Kathryn Parsons knows from firsthand experience just how tough it is to break into the tech world -- and the specific barriers that women face in doing so.

The cofounder of London startup Decoded, and the creator of the Code in a Day computer programming courses, understands just how important it is for women to have equal access to the tech world as men. The goal of Decoded's Code in a Day program is simple: "We want to spread digital enlightenment and skills to under-invested in groups ... : women, teachers, children, developing countries," Parsons told Refinery29.

Parsons also expressed just how much of a difference seeing women in the tech industry featured in the media makes:

The importance and impact of [Facebook CEO] Sheryl Sandberg and [Yahoo CEO] Marissa Mayer’s stories, visibility, and success can’t be underestimated. Technology is not just for boys. Coding is about thinking logically, problem-solving, collaborating, innovating. In what world are these not female skills? Yet I often hear from women “My brain does not work that way” or “I am useless at technology.” Is there any other industry or role where you would hear the same? It’s like saying women don’t have the brainpower to vote! It is a dangerous illusion. Don’t just opt in to technology; own it.

Ladies, take note.

Click over to Refinery29 to read the full interview with Parsons.



The Most Buzzed About Female-Led Tech Startups Of 2013