It’s no surprise to say that it’s been a big year here at She Codes HQ. We’ve spent more than 630 hours working in our programs, in six cities, across three states. But, you can read more about all of that and more in this blog here.
Today, I’m here to share with you all the incredible achievements of all our graduates this month, with both the She Codes Plus program in Perth and Brisbane.
Three years ago we started a conversation with BHP about how we can radically change diversity in technology, with traditional methods of learning not creating change fast enough to keep up with the fast pace of tech. In 2019, we launched our first She Codes Plus program in Perth, with the support of BHP, New Industries WA and Spacecubed, and welcomed 23 amazing women to the stage. This year we decided to really ramp up the pace, launching our first Brisbane program (and yes, it was a hell of a year to expand to the other side of the country in the middle of a pandemic) and running a second Perth cohort in parallel with the cohort in Brisbane.
This program really is radically different – it’s powered by industry, for industry, and for this I want to thank and acknowledge BHP for their leadership and foresight in collaborating on this program with us.
It’s been a strange year. We launched both Perth and Brisbane in the first quarter of 2020. My team went to Brisbane in March to launch the program, and not more than two weeks later the early days of lockdown started. The easy thing to do would have been to put the Brisbane program on ice. We surveyed the community and the same key themes kept coming up. There was a need for something to look forward to, a desire for community and human connection, and a fear of job security if they didn’t keep up with the technical revolution. With some quick thinking, brainstorming, and a lot of re-working content, the program went online for the first six weeks in Perth and first nine weeks in Brisbane.
And, after six months of learning, adapting and building relationships that will last a lifetime, we welcomed our 2020 cohorts to the stage. Showcase night in both Perth and Brisbane was an absolutely magical affair, a true celebration of the achievements of all our graduates, and a coming-together of the whole tech community. Across the two programs, we welcomed 41 women to the stage for their certificate (and confetti), and the crowd was able to view more than 200 projects we had on show. We heard from many attendees in Brisbane that the showcase was one of the few opportunities for social interaction, celebration and networking in 2020 and the energy in the air was electric.
Before I sign off, there are a couple of people I’d like to thank very quickly – firstly to BHP and all of the passionate supporters of diversity who work there – Kieran McCluskey and Andrew Wilson in particular. Our She Codes partners Robert Walters Recruitment, RAC, Spacecubed, Visagio, New Industries WA and Purposeful. Our incredible teaching team of mentors and guest speakers. Our venue partners HUB Australia, Newstead Studios, and Lightspace in Brisbane, and Riff and The Platform in Perth. And the She Codes core team Carlie, Hayley, Holly, and Lauren.
I’m super excited about 2021, and look forward to increasing opportunities, diversity and connections.
Kate Kirwin, Founder