Our first blog for the year profiles some pretty amazing women pushing for more women to join the tech community! the GirlCode teams talks to Mbali and Ruddy, C0-founders of the tech initiative Pink-IT.
1. Tell us more about yourself and how you got in to tech.
Mbali Hlongwane is a 24 year old female from Durban, who was always intrigued by technology and computers from a young age growing up at uMlazi. She is a Microsoft Certified Systems Developer working at becoming the best Innovation Specialist.
Ruddy Riba is a Software developer passionate about gender diversity in the software development field. She works in back-end, front-end and devops technology and loves presentation and learning about best ways to produce clean code.
2.Now, Pink-IT, tell us more about it and how it started.
Pink-IT is building a supportive and inspiring community for women in technology. The vision is to foster a culture of sharing, collaboration, discussion and inspiration for female software developers. Creating an inspiring place where we can connect and be ourselves, share ideas and tackle challenges
Mbali Hlongwane and Ruddy Riba were both software developers when they met. They founded Pink-IT based on their lessons learnt and challenges they had to overcome. They both have a passion for software development and innovation and believe in the value that females contribute to it.
3.Do you find that it is more difficult to encourage young girls to explore the world of tech ?
No, We were actually quiet surprised to see the number of females already in the tech space. Girls have had to hide under a rock because Computers and technology is seen to be a mans career, women have lost confidence and even passion for this industry. As we continue hosting we hope to expose these women who could potentially be role models and inspire young girls in to the tech space.
4.What are some of the challenges or stereotypes you have t debunk while running the initiative?
Fortunately, we have received a lot of support from the public. I think it is because we started Pink-IT at a time where most people were already aware of the statistics between women and men in the tech space. Which is why there are so many female focused programmes and Initiatives working at leveraging the statistics between women and men.
5. What does Pink-IT look like in 20, 60 or even 100 years?
Its not about how Pink-IT will look like as an organisation, but if we have had impact in leveling the gender gap in software development, if after 20, 60 or 100 years we still singing the same tune then the strategy has to be re-evaluated because the is then no point.