Subscribe to Newsletter

She Codes Mentor and Tech Champion, Ben Fitzhardinge awarded 2022 Outstanding Ally Award at WiTWA Awards Night

A massive congratulations to Ben Fitzhardinge, one of our first mentors who joined us back in 2017, and has since been a strong mentor and leader in the community since then, who took home the Outstanding Allyship Award at the WiTWA Awards Night this month.

We love seeing our community take home awards and receive the recognition they deserve, and Ben’s award for Outstanding Allyship is no exception. This month, at the Women in Technology WA (WiTWA) Tech [+] Awards, individuals in a range of categories were nominated, and awarded, shining a light on the diversity, equity and inclusion for women who work in tech roles and organisations involved with education, advocacy and research in technology-related fields.

For the Outstanding Allyship award, Ben was celebrated as one of the key individuals who stands alongside women as an ally, in the mutual quest for diversity, inclusion, and equity. Below, outlines some of the highlights of Ben’s career with She Codes, and how he works to give-back opportunities to budding tech professionals. You can watch a full video update with Ben here.

As the first male Lead Mentor at She Codes Australia, Ben has directly taught more than 120 women across our programs, including Flash (one week tech taster) and Plus (six month program supercharging tech careers). His time mentoring, and giving back to the tech community has allowed him to support more than 600 women in total in the last 5 years. And the most incredible part? He does all of this outside of hours, in addition to his full-time role and, donates his time through our Mentor Giveback program. In 2022 alone, he has donated more than 100 hours, which equates to more than $4,000 in time! 

We asked Ben how he felt about the award and he said “It’s absolutely humbling to be recognised in this way by an organisation like WiTWA, who do so much for women in this space. I hope that by being recognised in this way, perhaps it will encourage more men in the community to find a way to help bring more diversity into our industry.”

One of Ben’s strengths is his unwavering support of the students he mentors outside of the class environment. He is the 4th most active poster on the She Codes slack channel, and the #help-python_django channel where he is most active has helped more than 400 women. Ben went on to say “I feel the hard work was done by the students, those who have given up so much of their energy to learn an entire new industry.”

Some of the feedback received from students Ben has supported includes:

  • “Ben was an instrumental cog in helping me make a start on my Python project. Without Ben’s help… I would definitely have continued going down into a deep deep pit of despair”
  • “In the Python weeks I was really struggling with the project. I really appreciated Bendog’s help in our first in-person class… The poor guy had to deal with my overwhelmed state, and he did a fantastic job.”

Ben recognises that quite often the biggest hurdles to learning to code aren’t technical issues, but in learning to embrace the constant cycle of failure as you learn a new skill, and hopes to help people grow to embrace failure as learning. 

You’ll see Ben at work again soon, leading the Django module for the Sydney Plus cohort.

Congratulations Ben! 

To find out more about our incredible community, check out our latest Community Profiles and Videos.