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Winners of GirlCode’s women-only hackathon named

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Skills development organisation GirlCode yesterday announced three teams as the winners of its women-only hackathon.

GirlCode partnered with e-tailer Takealot.com, together with other tech companies, to host this year’s all-women hackathon under the theme “Break the bias” in celebration of International Women’s Dayon 8 March.

The objective of the hackathon, which is now in its eighth year and commonly referred to as GirlCodeHack, is to address the lack of women in the technology sector by allowing women to showcase their skills as part of an inclusive network of peers, according to the organisation.

In addition to building their skills, it aims to give participants more information about what it’s like to work as a software developer, and access to mentors for those that take part.

“Technology is becoming one of those things where everyone’s interested because it’s progressing and there’s lots more jobs popping up in that sector,” says GirlCode CEO Zandile Mkwanazi.

Following a two-day challenge, a panel of judges, which included representatives from Takealot, Amazon Web Services, Mint Group and Lenovo, chose the top teams of the hackathon – they are NTV, Hack-Gen and Hack Invasion Girls.

NTV was awarded the top prize for its web application solution that allows a company to register and get a code for all their employees to use to remain anonymous when reporting biases they encounter within the organisation. Winning team NTV walked away with laptops, laptop bags, mouse, software and R1 000 Takealot vouchers.

Hack-Gen built a complaint logging system that allows employees to report incidences on bias. The system would then be able to provide real data on the type of biases employees are facing and allow the HR department to implement relevant remedial programmes. The team walked away with tablets, software and R500 Takealot vouchers.

In third place was Hack Invasion Girls, which built a web application that anonymises the job application processes, which are sometimes deemed to be biased. The team walked away with tablets, software and R250 Takealot vouchers.

“Despite the progress that’s been made, when you walk into most IT departments, you will be greeted with predominately male faces,” states Mkwanazi.

“GirlCode started as a hackathon with the aim to not only show off the female tech talent we have in South Africa, but also to encourage young girls to consider a career in technology, and local companies to think about how they can support the development of the pipeline of women in tech.”

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11 Aug
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