Award-winning documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap coming to IU

By Sophie Babcock

Monday, February 29, 2016

CEWiT and the School of Informatics are bringing CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap to IU Cinema on March 7 at 7 p.m. The documentary exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap and digital divide. Along with the free screening, Director Robin Hauser Reynolds will be in attendance to answer questions following the movie.

Reynolds has spoken before about the importance of increased diversity in computer programming and on behalf of women’s rights. In the spring of 2013, Reynolds’ daughter called her to say she was dropping her computer science major. “I’m really bad at it,” she said. “I’m the worst in the class; I don’t fit in.” Her daughter was one of just two women in a class of 25, and Reynolds later learned she was earning a B.

After this personal experience and reading weekly headlines declaring the importance of computer science education, Reynolds set out with Producer Staci Hartman to debug the reasons behind the gender gap and digital divide. “For the most part, Silicon Valley availed itself to our inquisition, and with each interview – whether at Yelp, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Strava, Pandora, GitHub or Pivotal, we learned that the underlying currents which dissuaded women and people of color from pursuing coding jobs and resulted in the death of minorities in tech, were systematic, pervasive, and complex,” said Reynolds.

CODE was named Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival and Audience Favorite at 2015 Mill Valley Film Festival. It provokes the question: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code and how do we get there?

This screening is free, but ticketed. Because of limited seating, we highly recommend you obtain tickets in advance either in-person at the IU Auditorium Box Office or online at the IU Cinema website.