Encouraging Women To Enter Programming

A coder and former computer science teacher, Sophie Viger took over the management of 42, a network of three schools for developers in France (Paris, Lyon) and California (Fremont) in 2018. Named 2019’s IT Personality of the Year by Le Monde Informatique, Sophie Viger is immensely committed to advancing women in IT. While in Luxembourg, she shared her advice on how to attract more girls and women into coding and web development courses.
by: Silicon Luxembourg
photo: 42
featured: Sophie Viger
Here are a few of her tips:

1. Conduct team trainings that teach participants to stand up to any kind of macho culture that often exists.

2. Ensure images and communication are always inclusive.

3. Occasionally, run special recruitment initiatives with partners aimed at women.

4. Create a comfortable environment for women by equipping women’s toilets with free sanitary towels, etc.

5. Conduct sessions that allow women to discuss gender and workplace issues with each other and men freely.

6. Create sessions and events in which women can speak on technical topics.

7. Conduct introductory workshops with relevant associations on coding targeted at secondary school girls so they are introduced to the profession at an early age.


The pool is a one-month selection session to test the motivation and aptitude of candidates for this selective training. Every day for 4 weeks, the candidates are given exercises or computer programming projects to complete. The principle of the Pool is to start from scratch and therefore requires no prior knowledge.

Key figure:
  • 35%
  • In 2018, 15% of participants were women.
  • In 2019, they were 35%…
About 42:


  • Free of charge computer programming training
  • School open to all without diploma requirements
  • Accessible from the age of 18, no maximum age limit
  • 24/7 opening hours


  • Peer-to-peer learning
  • Project-based learning aimed at unleashing students’ creativity
  • Evaluations and corrections between students

42 was founded by Xavier Niel in 2013 at a time when the digital industry in France was experiencing a major shortage of IT developers. In order to train the talents of tomorrow in large numbers, the establishment provides the best infrastructure in innovative and modern locations in Paris and Fremont (Silicon Valley).


Recently, 42 has launched across 21 campuses, including 3 in France, Belgium, Morocco, Finland, the Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Armenia, Japan, Colombia, Spain, Canada and Italy).

This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazineGet a copy now!

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