Women in Web Development

CMS Made Simple – Supporting Women in Web Development

This is an interesting statistic: 91.5% web developers are men, according to a 2020 global software development survey.

Web Development has one of the biggest gender gaps in the tech industry, yet developer skills are in high demand, especially as more companies and organisations rely upon remote operations and the strength of their websites and applications to grow and retain business.

It is important to note that women have been major players in tech throughout history:

  • Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer in 1840.

  • The team of programmers on the first computer, ENIAC, was 100% women.

  • Grace Hopper invented the first computer compiler, coined the word 'bug', and co-developed one of the first high-level programming language, COBOL, in 1959.

  • American computer scientist Margaret Hamilton introduced the term “software engineering.”

CMSMS Women in Web Development


Becoming a developer means blending creativity with technical skills, problem solving, and a love of being detail-oriented and organized.

CMS Made Simple aims to empower women web developers, inspire inclusion, provide them with comprehensive resource support, and provide a platform where women developers can learn, exchange ideas, and excel.


Please read below a Q&A interview with Karima from the CMS Made Simple community, where she shares her perspective on what it’s like to be a woman in web development.

Q. Can you introduce yourself?

A. My name is Karima and I am visually impaired. I came to Canada 1974 and had to learn English and adapt to different life. I was born in central Africa, and grew up in Belgium. I have lived in Vancouver British Columbia for the past 50 years.

I have a background in business and accounting.

It would be fair to say that I am a ‘Jane of all trades’. I will learn something new to find solutions to a current challenge, not for the sake of learning. I will give my time, my knowledge, my effort, to help others. That is my nature.

Q. How did you get into web development? (self-taught or qualifications etc)

A. One of my employers actually suggested I get into IT or web. I remember accessing the web for the first time and being so overwhelmed that I just shut it down. However, the idea did appeal and it put me on the path of a career change.

I am highly organized and functional in my approach to any work, but I can’t really say that creativity was among my skills. I attended Capilano U to get my diploma through the Infotech program in 2001, a 2-yr program compressed into one, which included multi media, coding and graphics. There, I found an ability to draw and translate my ideas using tools like illustrator, flash, and Director.

Still feeling a little insecure about my skill set, I decided to start my own business.

Q. How did you land your first job in web development?

A. My first client, as it turned out, took me on while I was still in school. She was fitting me for an artificial eye and started asking me questions to keep me distracted. She herself was in need of a website, and asked if I could take it on? It was an opportunity to apply what I was learning directly into the real world. It went a long way to bolstering my self-confidence.

Q. What do you love about being a web developer?

A. Web development brings together a variety of skill sets: function, design, building skills, people skills, and marketing.

For me, it is the aspect of doing service, even paid service, that I really enjoyed. I quickly found out that what I offer is far more than what the customer wants, what I bring to the table is an A-Z package that relieves a lot of the pressure on the customer and allows for the building of long term relationships.

I picked up a client, in 2005, who was taking over his Father‘s business. When I asked him what he was looking for, he handed me his catalogue. I took one look at the catalogue and told him “I know exactly what you need; an e-commerce site.”

I thought I had bit off more than I could chew. I had never built an eCom before. I was lucky enough to engage the help of one of my teachers, a php programmer, to help me with the more complex issues: specifically to customize an open source software to meet the client’s needs. I took care of the design and styling, entered all the content, and configured the platform to work as it should for Canadian business.

20 years later, he is still one of my best clients and his business has succeeded to the point that I now interrupt his golf game in the middle of the day.

Q. What can the web development sector do better to encourage more women to be web developers?

A. One of the downfalls of Web development, or any niche industry, is that it attracts a very specific set of individuals with similar lifestyles. When you stand outside that lifestyle or you’re not quite the social butterfly, you can easily be left behind. At the beginning of my career, I attended many networking events, but never really felt comfortable. I know what I bring to the table, but I can’t articulate it, or sell it. My nature is to serve and I think it is a nature shared by many women.

Karima Premji – CMSMS developer since version 0.63


Get in Touch

We wish to celebrate and support ALL women and gender diverse web developers in our CMS Made Simple community. Are you a CMSMS woman in web development? We would love to hear from you.

Contact us: info@cmsmadesimple.org


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