Melissa Sariffodeen is a social entrepreneur, leader and big thinker. As Co-Founder and CEO of Ladies Learning Code and Canada Learning Code, Melissa has established a reputation as a fierce advocate for women and youth. She is dedicated to ensuring that they have the critical skills, confidence, and opportunities that they need to become passionate builders -- not just consumers -- of technology and to thrive in our increasingly digital world.
Since 2011, Ladies Learning Code has championed digital literacy for Canadians, working nation-wide and across all sectors to equip women and youth with technical skills. To date, the organization has taught over 60,000 Canadians code through their programs, which are offered in over 30 cities across the country. The organization runs programming for adult women, a thriving girls' program called
Girls Learning Code, a co-ed youth program called Kids Learning Code. The organization’s latest initiative is a program for educators: Teachers Learning Code.
In 2016, Melissa and her team launched their most ambitious initiative to date: Canada Learning Code - a ground breaking cross-sector coalition to create 10 million technology learning experiences for Canadians over the next ten years.
Her efforts to promote digital literacy in Canada have garnered attention from national media outlets like CTV, CBC, and the Globe & Mail -- and landed her a spot on Elle Canada’s list of 9 Canadian Women Making a Difference . She’s spoken on the TEDx stage as well as at notable conference such as Canada2020, GoNorth and Canadian Association for Business Economic Forum. Melissa also recently hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to participate in a coding workshop.
Melissa holds an HBA degree from the Richard Ivey Business School and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She taught herself how to build websites from scratch using HTML when she was 11 years old and has been coding ever since.