Melissa Sariffodeen

Melissa Sariffodeen

Co-Founder & CEO, Ladies Learning Code and Canada Learning Code

Melissa Sariffodeen is a social entrepreneur, leader and big thinker. She is best known as the co-founder and CEO of Ladies Learning Code, as well as Canada Learning Code. Melissa’s ventures have established her as a fierce advocate for women and youth.  Ladies Learning Code has championed digital literacy for Canadians. The program has grown nation-wide to ensure women and youth receive the critical skills, confidence and opportunities they need to become passionate builders of technology. 


Ladies Learning Code (LLC) has taught over 60,000 Canadians. It offers a variety of programs including programming for adult women, Girls Learning Code, and Kids Learning Code. The most recent is the Teachers Learning Code program, which is built to provide educators with the necessary skills to grow as tech builders. 


In 2016, Melissa and her team launched their most ambitious initiative to date: Canada Learning Code (CLC). CLC is a groundbreaking 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. She has been featured in 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 conferences (Canada2020, GoNorth and the Canadian Association for Business Economic Forum). Melissa hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to participate in a coding workshop in 2016, and she attended the G7 for Team Canada in 2017. 


Melissa holds an HBA degree from the Richard Ivey Business School. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. 


Photo by Stefano Barbera

In unrelated news, Melissa is a diehard Harry Potter fan! In fact, one of her first sites was a sorting hat game.


Canada Learning Code: The Future of the Workforce

In this keynote, Melissa Sariffodeen speaks to the changing reality of work in the western world. Melissa will illustrate the importance of providing your team with the necessary tech skills to adapt to the changes. This keynote will share solutions for developing a Canadian workforce primed and ready to take on the lucrative, rewarding tech-powered careers of today and the future. 


Why Learn Code?

At age 11, Melissa Sariffodeen helped doctors create an algorithm to predict adverse drug reactions. As an adult, Melissa transformed her career and life by learning to code. Her stories reveal the ways in which coding can enhance our lives and our potential for impact. In this keynote, Melissa will share her journey as a maker and builder. She’ll introduce strategies of the practical application of coding and computation to incorporate in our daily lives. This keynote will highlight the power of code as a force for social change. Your audience will better understand the positive outcomes of learning code. Melissa presents the case for building out a technical skill set regardless of who we are, what we do, or what we are passionate about.


Women in Tech: Encouraging More Women to Pursue Careers in ICT

In this keynote, Melissa Sariffodeen discusses the cause of the gender gap in tech. From education to the workforce, Melissa will teach your audience the importance of including women in tech. Melissa speaks to the importance of providing digital literacy training to young girls and adult women. Melissa draws upon research to present attrition rates among women in technical careers, and actions that can be taken to remedy this trend. 


Transforming Education: Teachers Learning Code

Melissa Sariffodeen talks about the responsibility educators have to ensure that each Canadian child has access to critical tech skills of the 21st century. She will introduce Teachers Learning Code- a program designed to provide traditional and non-traditional educators with the resources to feel confident teaching coding in their classrooms. Additionally, Melissa will share evidence-based best practices for creating learning environments that are conducive to learning technical skills.

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