Marine Ghalechyan, 41, is one of the six female (out of a total of eight) participants who successfully completed a four-month IT training course for women and girls recently held at FAR’s Gyumri Information Technology Center (GTech). The program aims to empower women who wish to develop a specialization and who want to work in IT by training them in PhP, HTML, Java Script and other crucial IT programs.

An English teacher and educator by profession, Marine is a manager at the Children’s Social Support Center in Gyumri. She also teaches English for the afterschool group participants at a local kindergarten. She is trying to make small steps into the IT world.

“I see myself in this field. I’ve thought about changing my specialty numerous times and this training is a good opportunity to do so,” said the mother of two, whose family is supportive of her desire to study programming. “The tuition was not too high—GTech announced a special discount for the women who wanted to participate—and it also motivated me to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to learn something new.”

Narine Khachatryan, head of GTech’s education department, said GTech decided to initiate the special program as there are many women who return to work after having children and find there is not as much opportunity in their fields anymore, or there are others who just wish to make a career change. “Besides, throughout the years of receiving applications, we have noticed that there is not much gender balance; we have many more men applying to GTech. We want to encourage more women to apply.”

During the course, Marine developed a website for her husband whose business is selling handmade woodwind instruments. “It came out well. I will definitely start looking for a new general programming position,” she said.