Oakland, CA—May 11, 2018
As part of a special series to honor everyday heroes ahead of Mother’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day and the Today show have come together to feature “Moms Who Wow Us”. One of the extraordinary women featured in this series is Tina Lee '01, MBA '02, Mills alumna and founder of the Bay Area nonprofit MotherCoders who shared her inspirational story on the Today show.
While on maternity leave from her role as director of innovation for California’s State Controller’s Office, Tina decided to brush up on her tech skills. In her role at work, she frequently interacted with business and community leaders and had learned that the tech talent gap was growing—yet mothers were largely being shut out due to the lack of digital-training resources.
Determined not to be one of the women left behind, Tina made a plan to attend meet-ups to learn the coding language Ruby on Rails. “I thought to myself, Well, how hard could it be?” says Tina. She quickly learned the only way she was going to master coding was with stretches of uninterrupted time to focus, a luxury to the majority of moms.
In 2013, Tina founded MotherCoders, a training program with on-site child care. Its mission: Cater to moms wanting to gain the skills, knowledge, and community needed to break into tech careers.
To date, MotherCoders has helped nearly 200 moms advance their careers and raise their salaries by an average of 64%. In 2020, an estimated 1.4 million tech jobs will be available in the U.S.—but 70% may go unfilled. The first step in closing this gap, according to Tina Lee: arming moms with the necessary skills.