Earlier this year it was announced that BBC Three would be scrapped and become an online only platform. Unfortunately that change cannot come soon enough and mind numbing programmes like Girls Can Code are not doing the channel any favours. In this modern, social media driven world, the younger generation are constantly told how they are the future and their heavy use of Instagram is going to build them a career. However, the tech industry, like many others, is dominated by men; supposedly half of all gamers are women but only 4% of coders are female. So BBC Three and Radio 1’s Alice Levine decided to recruit some young, Snapchat happy ladies to embark on a creative journey and become the future Boudicas of Silicon Valley. The concept does not sound too terrible but the execution was beyond appalling. It seems that whenever a programme is aimed at young people it cannot help but spend the full length of the show patronising it’s target audience. They also reconfirmed difficulties that young females face growing up in our patriarchal world. This was especially apparent when one of the shows stars exclaimed that the reason women do not work in the tech industry is because “they think it’s too difficult”.
The only redeeming features of this series are the mentors that oversee the budding girls’ ideas, which is a who’s who of great female entrepreneurs. Hassle.com founder Alex Depledge, 3D printing genius Roberta Lucca and investor Eileen Burbidge shed some intellectual and inspiring light where there is none. It is important that shows like this are made and attempt to inspire girls to venture into career paths that traditionally they wouldn’t enter but producers need to resist the temptation to constantly dumb it down.
This show would be more at home as a 5 minute Blue Peter special, which concludes in Barney showing us how to make our own app.