Join us in celebrating the Women in Competitive Programming

3 min read


As Michelle Obama rightly said,

‘There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish’

They inspire us all!

Every year, we dedicate the 8th of March to honor the accomplishments of women across the globe.

Likewise, at CodeChef we celebrate the achievements of those women who have embarked on their journey of Competitive Programming. Cheers to their dedication, and bravery in choosing the road less taken. They ignored the “coding isn’t for ‘Her'” and did not care for what the world would think of them! We truly appreciate the passion and determination of these women who inspire us every single day. 🙂

Among those are also our top women programmers (Top 5 globally and Top 5 Indian) in the CodeChef community, who have consistently performed well in the last one year.

CodeChef User
Country Global Rank Country Rank
_Sam (7★hzhz) China 28 6
Ania Piekarska (6★ania7) Poland 146 4
DOF (6★dance_of_faith) China 149 32
mayaohua (6★mayaohua) China 214 47
Davidescu Irina (6★irina) Romania 400 10
Khushboo Gupta (6★kg05kg05_05) India 559 156
Muskan Garg (6★muskan_garg) India 841 289
Jyoti Agrawal (6★jyoti851999) India 841 289
Priyanshi Jain (5★priyanshi2407) India 1274 543
Zara Sheikh (5★codophile_zara) India 1746 831

What do the numbers say?

We do see a surge in women’s participation in the Computer Science field, but the number gets slimmer when it comes to Competitive Programming (CP). Just a handful of them actually try their hands on CP and sadly, fewer of them continue and stay persistent.

We are happy to see an 11% increase this year in the number of women who have joined the CodeChef platform.

In addition, what we want is for more women to play the sport of programming and become rated. Currently, only 10% of the registered women on CodeChef are rated. We aim to shift this graph to the right and have more high rated women coders.

What are the challenges? Why the extra attention?

Look around in your institution and see how many women are doing CP. Do you see enough of them practicing it? Is it that they aren’t aware? Or maybe they are aware but they don’t want to do it?

Well, we spoke to fellow women programmers to understand what issues they face and got common responses like lack of guidance, motivation, a lot of errors, etc. Some of the responses which surprised us the most were:

  • Fear of what others will think
  • Feeling it’s out of their league
  • Lack of confidence

Plenty of studies have shown that these are caused by both nature and nurture, along with a lot of societal conditioning. And this becomes a significant hurdle, even when many of us are not even conscious of it. Couple this with the very practical issues that a lot of women face – safety concerns preventing them from participating in overnight hackathons, intercity events, or late-night practice sessions with your ICPC team. Even participating with mixed-gender teams in ICPC online rounds is an issue for some because it used to be held late in the evening and colleges don’t support that! Even if some of these hurdles can be overcome, it requires significant effort from women to challenge the status quo. All these tend to reduce the enthusiasm to even take part in the events.

It is high time that all of us are aware of these issues and tackle them actively. For starters, organizers of various events should take this into consideration while scheduling. At CodeChef, we are trying to bridge this gap and provide women an inclusive ecosystem of collaboration, learning, and growth.

We are here to help!

CodeChef along with many other organisations all around the world are working to provide that push

  • For that extra mile these women go and the extra motivation they need, we have some special initiatives this month to reward and encourage them:
    • Special prizes in the CodeChef Monthly contests:
      We shall be giving away double the number of prizes than usual. Instead of Top 10, Top 20 will get the CodeChef laddus.
    • We are hosting #30DaysOfCP challenge in which each day they need to solve one problem this March

Tell her “I got your back, you can do it.” 🙂

We are doing our bit, and we request you to add yours too. When your women friends tell you that they want to learn CP, we urge you to extend your support to them and provide an open approach to get them started. Because, every one of us deserves to be a part of this beautiful community, including you.
Celebrating every day as Women’s Day. And saluting the courage of all women…
CodeChef wishes its women Programmers Community a very Happy International Women’s Day! 🙂

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11 Replies to “Join us in celebrating the Women in Competitive Programming”

  1. I will be in top 10 women coders in India by next year this time….I will reach my goal… thanks Codechef community for encouraging girls to do cp!!

    1. Hey Prathyusha, good to know that you are interested in such initiatives. You must have read about the #30DaysOfCp challenge. As I am doing cp, I want to take part in this but unfortunately don’t have a team. Would you like to participate in this? If yes, please reply on this ASAP.

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