Youth marketing pioneer Student Brands has strategically partnered with NPO GirlCode ZA to spread the message of nurturing female involvement in the tech space to students nationally in the run up to the GirlCode 2018 hackathon.
This year’s GirlCode ZA hackathon is one of GirlCode ZA’s annual events that aims to provide a space for computer programmers, graphic and interface designers, business analysts and project managers to collaborate to build software and hardware prototypes.
The event’s primary goal is to raise awareness of female technical talent and foster a competitive, yet cooperative, and congenial culture for talented female techies.
The annual event is used to develop real-world solutions (in app, website or other forms) and astounding prizes are up-for grabs for participants. Judging criteria includes the solution fit to the problem identified; originality and impact, user experience & functionality and overall sustainability.
Speaking on the involvement of Student Brands in promoting the initiative is Founder and Chief Executive Officer Daryl Bartkunsky who mentions that “A female perspective is very important for everything we do and I think if we can introduce more of this in the coding space, from a fundamental starting point, we’d move forward a lot quicker.”
Zandile Keebine, Chairwoman of GirlCode ZA speaks about the beneficial nature of events such as GirlCode hackathon. “We want our hackathon to be more than just girls getting together over a weekend; we want the girls to feel empowered after the event. We want all of the girls participating in the Hackathon to develop some really innovative and well thought-through solutions and beyond that, showcase their skills and use this platform to kickstart their careers in tech.
Ultimately the GirlCode hackathon is a place for young [and] aspiring future technologists to build a network of like-minded people and find some mentors along the way too.”
The industry has presented multiple situations where females are often only relied on when it comes to the ‘pretty stuff’. On this, Daryl mentions that “[…] instead of only introducing females in the focus group and UI testing phases, the core fundamentals should be where their fruitful involvement lies – from phase one.” Bartkunsky sees a great link between Student Brands’ core beliefs and partnering with GirlCode for this year’s hackathon, closing with “Am I excited? Yes. I always like giving back and this speaks to Student Brands’ open-door policy of not turning people and their concepts and ideas away. We have a long way to go but this initiative is a phenomenal step.”
Student Brands has taken time over the past few months, since it’s acquisition by globally placed tech group, Simplyfai, to deepen their strategy in considering the way it will support the growth of tech and related fields.
Founder and Chief Strategic Officer, Marc Seymour, touches on the importance of diversity in the space of tech and coding specifically – “As with the coming of a new industrial revolution comes a change in the matrix and makeup of our markets. Simplyfai stands behind the GirlCode 2018 hackathon as we believe that the future includes every component of a new, diverse society.
A very untapped market is the female coder and it gives us great pride and honour to stand behind the next generation of female coders as exemplified by such a wonderful event like this.”
In closing, Marc mentions the closeness of initiatives like the GirlCode hackathon to his personal life – “We look forward to being a part of empowering females where our belief in the future does not stop at racial or gender-based boundaries. The future of the world will be written by the youth and we’re so proud to be associated with a marathon hackathon that encourages females to be a part of this.
Having 2 girls of my own, 6 and 8 years old, and bringing in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) protocols for them – my commitment is whole.”
The hackathon is set to take place on August 4th to 5th 2018. The #GirlCodeHack winning team will walk away with an amazing trip to the Amsterdam Women in Tech conference this November.