Code Like A Girl: Perspectives From Some Female Developers About Challenges In The GH Community

Stereotypes about female developers, unfortunately, still exist in society. Some female coders are overlooked in favor of their male counterparts.  The developer space can sometimes be a male-dominated space and getting input or even a “seat at the table” as a female developer can be tough.

The tech community can be unfair sometimes especially if you’re a female developer. Some of these stereotypes are familiar in other areas like sports and the gaming industry.

I wanted to get a few insights from some female developers in Ghana on what it’s like to be a female developer in Ghana. I asked three devs a couple of questions to get their perspective.

Ivy Barley (Developers In Vogue)

Challenges And Roadblocks As A Female Developer

As a female developer, I wouldn’t categorically state that there’s a specific challenge I face in order to be taken seriously. When I have to do anything, I make sure it’s the best. In the long run, people pay for my services as a developer who does quality work over a developer who’s female.

This doesn’t imply that everything is perfect because on a number of occasions, I get some male developers questioning my desire to get more women in tech. Some of them even say I’m wasting my time because women are not good at coding.

I know a number of female developers who have been looked down upon because of their gender in the world of work. This, however, hasn’t happened to me yet.

Do You Think The GH Community Is Encouraging Enough For Female Devs?

I find a number of the Ghanaian developer communities to be very supportive of women in technology. My organization, Developers in Vogue trains females in the latest technologies and then connects them to jobs. Very frequently, various dev communities reach out to me to have our ladies participate in hackathons, meetups, etc – which I find very positive.

This doesn’t imply that everything is perfect because on a number of occasions, I get some male developers questioning my desire to get more women in tech. Some of them even say I’m wasting my time because women are not good at coding.

Do You Think The Developer Community In Ghana is Under-Appreciated/Under-valued? Are Developers Compensated Well Enough?

With regards to being paid enough for my services, I think that’s one of the challenges. You know you’d send a price quote to a client and then the person would literally want to bargain so much. I think one of the reasons is that people don’t seem to understand why developers should charge so much when they pretty much use just a laptop, internet, logic, creativity and perhaps cups of coffee to get work done.


Eyram (Sys Admin And Python Programmer)

Challenges And Roadblocks As Female Developer

The premier challenge is the steep women to men ratio. You encounter this in school and most often, in such numbers, your male counterparts are quite ignorant or deliberately ignorant of what’s invasive of your space and this can be borderline infuriating for the average person. Male counterparts easily talk over you or ignore your input.  You have to assume a fighting stance most often to get heard, communicate your views or have an input. Without this, it’s easy, to get relegated to the mundane menial tasks or be reduced to the team secretary. You have to consciously fight these so as to not get stunted in your career development. I do not necessarily think this situation is peculiar to Ghana but is fostered by the pre-existing prejudice that women are less adept at science fields even when we carry qualifications in these fields.

Renumeration for techies in general is poor in this country especially for junior techies. I can only expect this to still persist at the top levels of management in some form

Do You Think The GH Community Is Encouraging Enough For Female Devs?

I don’t know much about the community in general being encouraging for female devs, but I think women are getting together to provide better opportunities for upcoming female devs to remove the bottlenecks they experienced coming up, create platforms and communities where women are freer to discuss their niches, which is a heavy plus.

For the Developer Community In General, Do You Think It’s Underappreciated And Undervalued? Do You Get Paid Enough?

Yeah. If you’ve ever worked in any big company in Ghana you can easily attest to this, even in companies where they’re products are technology leaning. These companies rely on their technological units for the business but still view the input and labour of techies as minimal or fail to attach the needed respect to the importance of their work or listen to their advice. Remuneration for techies in general is poor in this country, especially for junior techies. I can only expect this to still persist at the top levels of management in some form.


Annie, Teaching Assistant (University of Ghana)

Challenges And Roadblocks As Female Developer

Mostly whenever someone wants a job done, they ask the male developers first and when they don’t seem to find any, they decide to try out the female devs. It’s like they feel we’re not as capable as the guys and it’s quite disheartening because sometimes you’re actually better than the guys. Female devs are mostly the last resort.

Do You Think The GH Community Is Encouraging Enough For Female Devs?

In recent times, I think the community is beginning to recognize and support developers because people are beginning to realize the various ways developers have contributed through their works to make life much easier.

With female developers, I think there’s still quite a long way to go with the support. It will take some time but we’ll get there.

Do You Get Paid Enough For Your Work?

Yeah… but sometimes it depends on what exactly they want done. For instance, if the person wants a website put up and it’s quite basic, if you don’t stand your ground and name your price then you won’t get much.

But then if you’re building a whole new software, the price can be quite high because a lot of work goes into that.


These are just a couple of insights from some female developers in the community. There are still some stereotypes that exist but some progress is being made. Hopefully, sooner than later, there will be more parity when it comes to female developers and what they can contribute.

If you have comments or want to add in your own personal opinion, drop them in the comment section below or drop me an email: [email protected]

Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana. I'm also a UX Designer, book reader, and tech enthusiast (duh!) Email: [email protected]

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