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Hacking into the importance of gender equality – one code at a time

By Aditi, Head of Publicity, Girls in Tech
8 March 2022

SheHacks 2022 represents the fourth year of this unique girls and non-binary only hackathon hosted by Girls in Tech. It is a weekend-long event open to girls across both campuses. They have the opportunity to apply their interests in technology and coding to solve their chosen problem around a central theme. Since 2019, our participants have explored issues in Empowerment, Sustainability, and Communication. In light of the pandemic affecting direct access to schools and studies, we chose Education as the SheHacks 2022 theme.  

This year, we were fortunate to host the hackathon in person on Dover Campus, despite managing a tricky ‘hybrid’ model. It was an upgrade from 2020 and 2021 when SheHacks was held online, after the very first SheHacks in 2019. We had great support from our sponsor, JP Morgan, who have been with us since the beginning, and our school facilities teams as well as High School teacher-supervisors, in addition to the volunteer mentors and judges. 

The success of the weekend consisted of three key elements: a safe and secure place to host, industry professionals to guide, judge as well as mentor/brainstorm with, and of course a good number of participants! We overcame many obstacles to host the event in person - from coordinating with school authorities regarding restrictions in hosting and catering for participants at a single venue to coordinating with our mentors and judges virtually. Our hard work over the past five months culminated in a widely successful event.

She HACKS hackathon in progress

One of the more difficult tasks was getting the right industry professionals. We persevered and secured volunteers to mentor and judge SheHacks. We had a panel of ten judges and seven mentors, who were a mix of software engineers, business analysts and full stack developers. They were able to provide valuable insight into the applications and feasibility of the ideas. Our keynote speaker Shoma Krishnan from JP Morgan inspired us with her story about her journey as a woman in tech. Given the breadth of individuals we invited to join SheHacks, our participants got the most out of this experience! 

Participants were able to interact with one another, learn something new, and make new friends. 

We had an impressive 98 sign ups. Unfortunately, given the Covid-19 restrictions, we were only allowed to host 55 participants. These 55 were split into 15 teams across a U14 and U18 category. The room was bustling with excitement and energy from the get go. Some even wanted to stay late to continue working on their projects! Throughout the weekend, participants were able to interact with one another, learn something new, and make new friends. 

SheHACKS Hackathon - discussions

Hosting this successful in-person hackathon where participants felt engaged and inspired has given us, the GIT team, a sense of achievement and we are indeed proud to be part of SheHacks 2022. 

We hope that SheHacks is able to instil confidence in those who want to pursue their interest in technology, be it coding or innovation, as well as to break down the existing gender imbalance in the field of technology.

To all the She-Hackers and aspirational She-Hackers out there, we hope that this platform gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself and solve problems using technology. 

To join us, you can attend a Girls in Tech meeting at 1.15pm on Mondays. We hope to see more participants for SheHacks 2023!

Stay updated on all things SheHacks with their Instagram and website.