Panel discussion will break down ‘CODE’
Park City Film Series Executive Director Katharine Wang is looking forward to the Reel Community Series screening of Robin Hauser Reynolds’ documentary "Code: Debugging the Gender Gap," on Thursday, Jan. 14.
The film examines the lack of American female and minority software engineers, explores the reasons for this gap, and raises the question: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code,
Wang is also looking forward to the panel discussion that will follow the screening.
"We have some amazing women in our own community who are doing some great things with technology and wanted to bring them into this discussion," Wang said during an interview with The Park Record. "That way our kids, when they see someone like Jill Layfield, the former CEO for backcountry.com, in the grocery store, it will be more relatable."
In addition to Layfield, the panel, moderated by KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher, will feature Heather Zynczak, chief marketing officer of DOMO, Inc., Jacki Zehner, one of the first female managing partners at Goldman Sachs who has since to gone on to do great works on the board of trustees of the Sundance Institute, and filmmaker Robin Hauser Reynolds.
"They will touch on a lot of things and this is something we like to do, elevate the community dialog," Wang said.
Wang learned of "CODE" last summer through Sharon Anderson Morris, director of Strategic News Service and chairwoman of FiReFilms.
"I though the film was interesting because it was about the lack of women in technology and how we can change that dynamic and encourage women, girls and minorities to go into the field," Wang said. "But I couldn’t think of a community connection to it, because when we do screen these types of films, especially during our Reel Film Community Series, we always find a way it relates to Park City."
Wang found the connection the next day.
"I was listening to KPCW and heard Ari Ioannedis talk about the new Park City School District’s coding program that would first be introduced to the first grade and how it will go across the elementary schools," Wang said. "He talked about it being a fantastic opportunity for our kids to get introduced to technology, and how it would also introduce them to the logic and problem solving behind coding that can cross different disciplines."
She called Superintendent Ember Conley to see if the Park City School District would be interested in partnering with the Park City Film Series to set up a screening.
The Park City Education Foundation was also interested and the ball got rolling.
"We wanted it to be timed to support the pilot program and impress upon the parents of girls and boys the importance of the program and the doors the coding process can open," Wang said. "We want to make sure the kids can see the different opportunities, because, who knows, they may take that career path and change their lives."
Wang also reached out to BoardDocs and Emerald Data Solutions who are behind the school district’s pilot coding program.
"They are the underwriters for the screening and we want to thank them for their leadership not only with the program, but for bringing the film and this important conversation to Park City," Wang said.
The "CODE" screening and panel discussion fits perfectly with the mission of the Park City Film Series’ Reel Community Series.
"This is something we do at least once a month, sometimes more, and the goal is to elevate the community dialog through film," Wang said. "We work with various organizations to address different themes and issues that emerge year after year. We look at what’s going on the community — whether it’s something like sustainability, education or math and science — and see how we can highlight those conversations by using resources in our community to take it to a different level."
For more information about the Park City Film Series, visit http://www.parkcityfilmeries.com.
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