In celebration of women’s month, GirlCode will be hosting its annual GirlCode Hackathon which aims to showcase the tech skills of young budding female software developers.

“The GirlCode Hackathon plays a critical role in South Africa’s innovation ecosystem by growing our pipeline of female software developers at the grassroots,”says Zandile Mkwanazi, GirlCode CEO. “Everyone who participates comes away with new skills, ideas and networks that will continue to fuel our innovation into the future.”

The hackathon this year has attracted a lot of technology partners who are just as eager to see what the participants have to offer, one of those being Mint Group which has partnered with GirlCode for close on seven years now.

Mint Group’s head of people, Lauren Clark, says: “We can see the value and impact of this hackathon event. We look forward to speaking with the participants and seeing what problems they solve using their technology skills. Mint Group endeavours to support GirlCode’s initiatives because we know that technology is a sustainable career for our youth.”

One of the newest partners to join forces with GirlCode had this to say about the hackathon partnership: “Vuma is proud to partner with GirlCode for the upcoming #GirlCodeHack, which is another step in bridging the digital literacy gap for young South Africans,” says Taylor Kwong, CSI manager at Vuma. “Our mission is to enable opportunities for individuals and communities to allow them to flourish and realise their full potential, an ethos that aligns strongly with GirlCode’s goals.

“ We are excited to be part of a movement that is passionate about igniting the spark for young women and girls to develop an interest in coding and the STEM fields, allowing them to be at the forefront of innovation.”

Cape Town-based tech company Byte Orbit has also joined as a sponsor.

The hackathon is open to all Female IT students and graduates who will work collaboratively to create a website, game, or mobile app that addresses a selected real-world challenge.

The #GirlCodehack is designed to spark, renew and elevate interest in coding amongst young women- “The cherry on top?” Laptops, tablets, Headphones and Vouchers sponsored by the Takealot Group who are proud to once again partner with GirlCode on this mission to increase the articulation of women in the digital economy.

“Now more than ever we need to intensify our efforts to include women and create equality in the workplace. The negative effects of the pandemic have impacted women significantly, with some of the gains that had been achieved being eroded,” says Nomaxabiso Teyise, head of diversity, transformation and inclusion at Takealot Group. “However, the pandemic has also brought with it some opportunities, those presented by the acceleration in technological advancements and digital transformation.

“This presents us with great opportunities to level the playing field and ensure women do not get left behind in the increasingly digital economies. It’s through partnerships and initiatives such as this one that the Takealot Group invests with the knowledge that the decisions and actions we take today will help secure future generations to achieve the generational equality we seek for women.”

Mpho Nyembe, brand and program manager at Tarsus On Demand, says: “Environmental and social factors as the building blocks of a sustainable business are no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a ‘must’, and Tarsus On Demand (TOD) takes social responsibility seriously.

“We are delighted to be the gold sponsor of 5th annual GirlCode hackathon. ‘Technology as an enabler’ is a shared belief and value and being part of providing young girls with an opportunity to develop some of the real-world skills needed to enter the technology environment is both an honour and a necessary move towards building gender equality in the IT industry.”