Franchisee Dipali Patel, The Coder School, Breaks Stereotypes, Empowers Women

Dipali Patel, a multi-franchise owner of The Coder School in two California locations, strives to empower women, break the gender pay gap, and bring more women into the tech field—all while raising two teenage boys as a single mom. When describing The Coder School, Patel said, “We combine a super-small teaching ratio with individualized immersion-style instruction to get kids coding in no time! We don’t believe in kids being taught by software, and we don’t like a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Instead, we focus on a mentor relationship with students and their Code Coach® who can guide them through their amazing technical journey.”  

“Before joining The Coder School, I came from a huge teaching franchise where I had five fellow franchisees surrounding my location within a 3-mile radius. This did not help any of us become successful. In turn, I had to close my territory. After that, it was very important for me to find a smaller, more personable franchise. One that aligned with my personal goals and was strategic in its expansion. One that provided a strong support system. I found that in The Coder School.” 

“I had been interviewing with other franchises when I connected with Hansel Lynn and Wayne Teng at The Coder School. I felt an instant connection with them and the culture of the business. Although we had very different personalities, our similar business qualities matched perfectly. And we shared similar backgrounds, having immigrant parents. The company culture is inclusive and welcoming. I felt heard and seen. I had a sense of hope that I could be successful in this business. I don’t think I felt that way about any other franchise or job in the past. Hansel and Wayne not only interviewed me, but I also interviewed them. We wanted to be sure we were a good fit. They never made me feel pressured. Instead, I felt a sense of alignment, belonging, and forward-thinking. From our initial meeting, Hansel and Wayne instilled in me a feeling that I could have an impact—not only with this franchise but also within my community. Four years later, I still feel that today.” 

“Broadly speaking, even today, women business owners face a number of unique obstacles. As a single mother, I constantly struggle to find the balance between business and family. Whether it’s helping with college applications, studying for the next middle school exam, or finding the time to shop and meal prep for growing teenage boys, it is a constant struggle being the sole caregiver of my boys. Many thoughts of self-doubt go through my mind daily—about being the best mom I can be, the best entrepreneur I can be, the best leader I can be. Being solely responsible makes me hesitant to take risks at times, because I am afraid of making a costly decision. To help with this, I have found a small group of supportive people in my circle. A mix of family, friends, and colleagues. This group helps me vent and rationalize. They lift me up when I need them and always support my decisions even when they may fail. We do this for each other.”   Dipali Patel The Coder School Multi-Franchise Owner

“Although my current franchisor is amazing at treating everyone equally, the people I met through my past experiences were not. I came across franchisors who valued male counterparts more than women, even if women produced more revenue. I had landlords for retail spaces who ignored me until I showed up with a man. I had construction companies who tried to hustle me for more money. The only way I found to get through this was standing my ground, securing my place at the table, and filtering out the noise. Today, I try not to worry about other people’s opinions of me. That’s more about them than me. With personal and professional experience, and a lot of self assurance, I have become more confident than ever. That combined with the unrelenting support of my franchisor—I feel invincible.”  

“The cultural stigma for female entrepreneurs is still highly prevalent today. Stereotyped family ideals of women handling all household and family duties make it difficult for women to think of entrepreneurship. I opened my franchise in Cerritos, California, in 2019 to break this stigma after my divorce. Today, I lead by example. I own two The Coder School franchises and I am the General Manager for both. Each day consists of running the daily operations while taking care of myself and my family. I oversee an all-women administrative staff, I support other women-owned businesses, and I teach my boys that women can do anything they set their minds to.”  

“With the service we provide at The Coder School, we hope to encourage more girls to learn how to code. We aim to bring more women into the Tech sector. Since Tech jobs are usually high-salary opportunities, this will help reduce the overall gender pay gap. I saw a recent article that said women make up only 28% of the Tech industry workforce. The numbers are even lower for women of color. Our franchise hopes to change that.” 

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