As part of the annual #CodeLikeaGirl initiative, Vodacom is proud to announce the launch of a hybrid coding boot camp, scheduled to take place from 2-6 October 2023.
This program is specifically designed for young women between the ages of 14 and 18. The on-site training will be conducted at 19 esteemed Schools of Excellence across the country, while virtual training will be made available to all eligible female learners.
The underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is a prevailing issue worldwide. According to a report published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), titled “Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM,” only 35% of STEM students in higher education globally are women. A
dditionally, young women constitute a mere 25% of students in engineering or information and communication technology (ICT) programs.
Njabulo Mashigo, the esteemed Human Resources Director of Vodacom South Africa, emphasizes the significance of the 2023 hybrid installment of this critical initiative.
By expanding access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, Vodacom aims to address the substantial gender gap prevalent in these fields. Through #CodeLikeaGirl, young women are empowered with invaluable coding skills and other essential life skills, equipping them for future employment opportunities and fostering diversity within STEM.
During the five-day boot camp, participants will have the opportunity to engage in coding, robotics, and other ICT development programs. This immersive experience aims to nurture their confidence in digital learning and skills, while also encouraging them to pursue further studies in STEM. Additionally, a life skills component has been incorporated into the program, offering female mentors who will share their experiences of working in STEM and serve as visible role models.
The on-site #CodeLikeaGirl boot camps will be held at 19 esteemed Vodacom Schools of Excellence across South Africa, targeting girls from these schools as well as neighboring institutions. The virtual training will run parallel to the on-site program, enabling girls from all corners of the country to participate. However, eligibility for the virtual training requires access to connectivity and a laptop.
Since the inception of Vodacom’s #CodeLikeaGirl initiative in 2017, over 4,000 girls aged between 14 and 18 have benefited from the program. This successful initiative has expanded beyond South Africa, reaching countries such as Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Lesotho.
“At Vodacom, we are committed to actively breaking down barriers to gender inequality and demonstrating our unwavering support for women. The success of #CodeLikeaGirl serves as a testament to the importance of increasing representation as we strive to build a digitally inclusive society,” concludes Mashigo.