Breaking Barriers in Tech: Working to Bring STEM Education to Marginalized Women


Women continue to be underrepresented in the tech sector in Canada. From speaking at events to holding in-office inclusion meetings, Hubba staff are working diligently to remedy this every day. Now we’re bringing the work to our greater Toronto community.

Nellie’s Shelter was founded over 40 years ago after one woman realized there were 10x the amount of beds for homeless men than women in our city. Since, it’s evolved into a safe haven for women and children fleeing abusive relationships who are looking to get back on their feet – providing 36 more much-needed beds and training programs for the women of our community.

We learned from the team at Nellie’s there is a real interest in improving tech proficiency and to build on development and coding skills. So naturally, we reached out to our friends at Ladies Learning Code to work with us to provide. We think it’s important to do what we can to offer opportunities for women to acquire and grow their digital literacy skills in a safe and supportive environment. Hubba and Ladies Learning Code will work with the women in the shelter in a new pilot program designed specifically for women who find themselves homeless, impoverished and eager for a new start.

“Nellie’s is thrilled to be partnering with Hubba on an initiative that will provide women living in Nellie’s shelter and our community clients with accessible training in computer skills” says Marlene Bell, Nellie’s Shelter Program Manager.



“This program will provide women, who have experienced abuse or violence, and have multiple barriers to work on marketable skills to help increase their job readiness. We ultimately hope this program will enhance women’s opportunities to become economically self-sufficient while also breaking isolation through their participation in the program” Bell finishes.

The curriculum will include opportunities to improve general tech skills, how to build a website, and other workshops for those interested in learning basic coding.

“I know from first-hand childhood experience that shelters like this are literally saving lives and enabling women and children to rebuild. Tangible skills for women to be able to find work are a massive part of this rebuilding” says Stephanie Little, Hubba’s Manager of Talent who spearheaded the initiative.

“Hubba is involved in many social impact initiatives to give back to the community and we’re well positioned to help remove some of the barriers that gaining decent tech skills has, such as access to computers, internet, and proper teaching. This felt like a perfect idea to put forward. I can’t quite describe how happy and proud I am to be working with Ben, Hubba volunteers, Ladies Learning Code and of course Nellie’s on this initiative.”