CodeGirls, a coding and business skills bootcamp for Women Empowerment began with it’s first two cohorts on Saturday, 30th June 2018. This program is a collaborative effort between multiple partners such as Consulnet Corporation, United Global Initiative and #WomenInTechPK, along with having sponsor support from both local and international sources.
What is CodeGirls? You may be asking, well CodeGirls is a program meant to deal with the substantial gender gap in technology and opens up a whole new world of possibilities for women and young girls. The boot camp’s target audience is women between the age of 15 and 30 with no prior tech education, CodeGirls will empower these women with the knowledge and skills required to go into the fields of business and technology and change them for the better.
Currently, only 3 Fortune 500 technology companies are led by women but it can be seen in the statistics that women-led tech companies have 21% greater return on investment and that if an estimated 600 million women and girls were online then there would be a GDP boost by 18 billion US dollars. This, combined with the fact that women tend to have less access to the internet and technology than men around the world, being 21% less likely to own something as common as a mobile phone in many parts of it, proves that major change needs to come about in the field and soon.
CodeGirls aims to teach them coding and business skills with 80-100 hours of classroom training, 2 hours a day for 3 days a week. The trainers and mentors are experienced professionals from the tech industry and they will be spending their time in the facilitation and mentoring of the participants, which makes this program one of a kind.
The orientation ceremony was held at The Nest I/O and was attended by the boot camp
participants, trainers, mentors, sponsors and allies of the program. It was hosted by Shamim Rajani, Founder – ConsulNet Corporation and COO –Genetech Solutions, Jehan Ara, President – PASHA and Founder – The Nest I/O was the guest of honor and she gave a keynote on “Importance of Tech Education for Women Empowerment”. Jehan mentioned the role of female entrepreneurs in the economy and shared the success stories of two female led startups, Sheops and BoloTech, both were incubated at The Nest I/O and both broke barriers for many women.
One extremely noteworthy thing Jehan said was,
“Women have multiple roles in society and sometimes it is difficult to fit into the persona of an ideal employee. We need to be part of the system, change it internally and have more women friendly policies.”
Shamim Rajani said, “There is a wide gender technology gap and this program can become a milestone in our journey to become a truly inclusive industry. Technology has changed my life two, from the mother of two to the COO of a company, I have come a long way and it all started with a single step of getting enrolled in a technology education program and now I want to help other women get the same kind of access to training and opportunities.”
There were interesting talks held by Hasan Walji and Faiza Yousuf as well, all in all the orientation seemed to be a sweeping success and made it’s place as a strong start towards the CodeGirls campaign.The ceremony ended with Turab Hussain Hemani, CEO – Genetech Solutions presenting a small token of appreciation to the speakers, trainers, mentors and sponsors of the program.