WeThinkCode achieves gender parity goal with 50 percent intake being women

18 months ago, WeThinkCode announced a gender parity initiative where it aimed to achieve at least a 50 percent intake of female students. This Women’s Month, the coding and ICT skills-focused institution has reached set target, with it marking a significant step in the efforts to identify and recruit talented women into the academy.

We are pleased that we are able to play a tangible role in driving inclusion within South Africa’s digital sector. Women are taking a seat at the tech table,” enthused Nyari Samushonga, CEO at WeThinkCode.

“Technology is driving growth and innovation in many of the most important sectors of the economy, and these young developers will be at the centre of this economic activity. Gone are the days when software developers were a forgotten cost centre relegated to the basement. Whether we are looking at financial services, health, education or agriculture, all of these sectors are being driven by technology,” Samushonga added.

It is indeed a notable achievement, especially as getting more women into coding and other STEM-related fields is often eulogised during Women’s Month, but few organisations actually take the steps to make it happen.

The academy explains that while there is still more work to do on this front, the road to get to this point has not been without its hurdles.

From a low of 6% women in its first intake in 2016, WeThinkCode reached 17% in 2019. The WomenThinkCode= initiative was launched in 2019 to drive the recruitment of women and increase their retention within the programme. This year, the academy will welcome 233 women onto its campuses in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. This milestone of gender parity is worth celebrating given the historical bias towards male recruits,” highlights a press release sent to Hypertext.

“The Covid 19 pandemic has accelerated the rate at which our world is being digitised. Because of the far reaching influence of technology, captains of industry now concede that no matter what business you are in, you’re also in the tech business,” Samushonga says. 

We are re-coding the future and the way society sees the role of women in technology. We want women to blaze a trail in ICT and to do that we have built a supportive community around our female students. All second year students are mentored by industry experts. This helps support their transition from the learning environment to the workplace,” the CEO concludes. 

With greater efforts needed to bring women into the ICT sector, here’s hoping more organisations take a similar approach to WeThinkCode and make gender parity a key mandate.


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