The initiative aims to address the under-representation of women in technology by teaching them to code in WeThinkCode’s two-year, tuition free software development training programme.
Women make up just 23% of all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) talent globally, according to Unesco. In South Africa women represent only 20% of the workforce in technical roles.
WeThinkCode now aims to have half of its 2021 cohort made up of young women
This under-representation is reflected in the WeThinkCode programme, where only 17% of the 2019 cohort are women.
WeThinkCode CEO Nyari Samushonga (pictured above, second from left) said in a statement yesterday (29 August) that the programme is designed to inspire young women between the ages of 17 to 35 to join the WeThinkCode programme and support them to graduate and transition to a fulfilling career.
“We want to showcase women that are making waves in technology, build a community of allies around young women technologists and achieve gender parity in our programme and, ultimately, in the industry,” added Samushonga.
WeThinkCode said the initiative will reach more women through alternative recruitment platforms such as non-profit organisation networks, mobile assessment units for use in townships, and direct contact with young women.
It added that it will retain more women in the programme by setting up a mentorship network that will support them throughout the programme and beyond into their careers.
Sponsorship for 30 students
Between this year and next year Momentum Metropolitan Foundation will sponsor a total of 30 students to complete the two-year training.
Momentum Metropolitan Group head of CSI Charlene Lackay said the project speaks to the company’s commitment to getting more young women into STEM jobs in the future.
Featured image, left to right: Pleiades Media Kerry Botha, CEO WeThinkCode Nyari Samushonga, Over software engineer Clara van Staden, MWR InfoSecurity senior consultant incident response and investigations Joani Green and Momentum Metropolitan Group COO Ashlene Van Der Colff (Supplied)