The Motherhood Penalty: Our Chat With Liane Katz, Co-Founder & CEO of MAMA.codes

Motherboard caught up with Liane Katz, Co-Founder & CEO of MAMA.codes prior to being part of the panel for the in-person Motherboard event on the 6th October.

Amber @ ADLIB: A bit of background, who are you, what do you do and where do you work?

Liane: I’m Liane Katz, Co-Founder & CEO of MAMA.codes, an award-winning parent-powered coding school for kids aged 3-11. From humble beginnings running Parent Hacks in our homes to engage worried parents in more positive screen time activities such as coding, the team has grown to 25 and we offer a range of creative coding experiences from online classes to after-school clubs and holiday camps. Our new app Looparoo launches soon to empower kids aged 3-7 to teach THEMSELVES to code more flexibly and at lower cost. 

Day to day, I work on company strategy both for commercial growth and outreach/impact. I also work on product development, raising investment and I’m the brand guardian when it comes to our marketing.

Amber @ ADLIB: Why do you think it is so important to get more women into tech?

Liane: I’ve felt excluded from Tech and STEM opportunities myself, being actively steered away from STEM subjects at school and university, and only learning to code at work in my mid-30s. Technology makes the world go round and digital skills are fast becoming a form of literacy, essential for a wide range of career paths. It’s simply not right that half the population should feel excluded from the myriad opportunities of this fast-growing sector.
 
I’m a firm believer that we can only fill the digital skills gap by addressing the diversity gap and this was a core motivation for me when founding MAMA.codes.  Having worked with a team of 65 developers where only 1 of them was female, I wanted to challenge perceptions of what a coder looks like and actively encourage more girls (and Mums!) to learn to code.

Women in fact have a proud history in software engineering, however this isn’t widely enough known. The role models and trailblazers exist, it’s a case of showcasing them and getting people excited and empowered.

Amber @ ADLIB: What do you think companies could do more of to be more inclusive of mothers?

Liane: It’s essential for organisations to offer flexibility, not just in terms of part time and custom hours but also remote working options and focusing on deliverables rather than presenteesim. Subsidising childcare is a great help too, where feasible. and projects that build in flexibility in terms of day to day delivery – if a child is home ill, it makes it easier to catch up in the evening or the next day, and still deliver a project on time.

MAMA.codes has always championed flexible and remote working and has developed quite an etiquette and suite of tools to support our dispersed team that I will be talking through at the ‘Motherhood Penalty’ event.

Amber @ ADLIB: What excites you about the MotherBoard event?

Liane: I’m so excited to be invited to speak at this event, it is addressing a very important topic that is not discussed enough, and I hope it shines a light on positive steps organisations of any size can take to support and attract parents.

MotherBoard and MAMA.codes share many values and a similar mission to educate and empower, so I’m delighted to be collaborating.

I’m really¬†looking forward to expanding my network and also the novelty of a face to face event!

Attend the MotherBoard event

After 18 months of hosting MotherBoard events online, we’d like to invite you to ‘The Motherhood Penalty’ live event on Thursday 6th October.

Spaces are limited so secure your FREE spot early: RSVP here

The Motherhood Penalty: It is reported that only 19% of the tech industry in the UK is made up of women, and half of women will leave the industry by the age of 35. A huge blocker in retaining women in tech is balancing a career whilst raising a family.

So, what are we as individuals and as a collective doing about it?

Join Marie and other fantastic expert speakers at the event either in-person or online.

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Developers & Technology

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Amber Rowbottom