Teaching girls during SuperDaughter Day how to write some animation code for JewelBots
So why do I do this?
I knew that I was committed to take part of this increasing movement that supports women in technology when I was talking to Gerard, my company’s Head of Technology. We were discussing on how supportive and encouraging it is nowadays for women to consider a change in technology and how girls get heaps of support when it comes to exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities. I just felt a bit disappointed that this movement hadn’t happened earlier when I was a kid. I remembered getting in trouble for dismantling my walk-man and taking the laser out of my CD-Player to see how they worked. I don’t think I was encouraged enough to explore and ended up thinking I wasn’t smart enough. This feeling inspired me to look for a change and be a part of a solution for future generations. I knew this would be my motivation to continue to volunteer and be part of a movement that would encourage more young girls to become our future Scientists, Engineers, Mathematicians and Technologists.
It hit me even more when I read last week the Linkedin status of one of the mothers that volunteered for SuperDaughter Day. She mentioned, “Recent research has shown girls think they are equal to boys at age 4 but believe boys are better than them by age 6. Events like [SuperDaughter Day] these giving confidence in tech from an early age are essential for future equality goals”. How could I not be passionate to make sure girls grow confident in their abilities?
Tya Cao — Junior Dev who had attended a NodeGirls workshop a while back and is now a mentor working at REA Group
Notably, during SuperDaughter Day as I was teaching a 7 year old batman girl to write code into Arduino to animate her JewelBot, I looked up. I noticed little superhero girls, running around in their costumes exploring STEM activities with their parents. Everyone was enjoying the activities, smiles all around, children teaming up, blocks tumbling, robots moving, fingers moving in the air, balloons making sounds, LED’s flashing, play-dough covered in feathers, lighting up. All the planning, coordinating, calling, emailing, stressing paid off. Watching parents unite, volunteers & mentors taking time from their weekend to make this happen.
Some of SuperDaughter Day’s volunteers along with our youngest helper, Sophie
The backbone of events is not only formed by the planning and the organization, but the time and effort put in by every parent, organizer and volunteer. I learned that communication, sharing concerns, solution oriented thinking and a purpose is what has glued everything to happen. Meeting people face to face and not relying only on technology makes planning events more personable. It makes you want to ensure that everything goes well. I can’t express how grateful I am to have met such supportive people. They become friends and role models to learn from.
I could list down all the tools and planning software that helped us be more organized, but the true ingredients are the people that give their time. This is why I enjoy what I do and the community that has given me the opportunity to participate in it.
Just a few of us hanging out at Common Code during a NodeGirls workshop
Lastly, I am grateful for those companies, who seek, raise their hand and dedicate a small portion of their resources to make this happen. Thank you to organizers and volunteers of NodeGirls in Melbourne and to the many sponsors who support the movement. Thank you to the parents, volunteers and superheroes that made SuperDaughter Day possible — Thank you sponsors — your contribution is a small seed that contributes to the confidence in each girl’s future!
Below are some of the people who I would like to give special thanks:
- Veronica Munro
- Tanya Butenko
- Sara Chipps
- Valeria Ignatieva
- Lina Chan
- Helen Whitehead
- Steministar- Jacqueline Tate
- Akemi Joslyn Cade
- Renee Gaspar
- Tya Cao
- Kylie Sy
- Jenine Beekhuyzen
- Sara Ramirez M
- All the volunteers for NodeGirls & SuperDaughter Day
- My mom
- Duncan Banks and my team at Ippon Australia, Gerard, Valentin, Sherwin, Ben, Nish and Thomas
Companies who have been incredibly supportive for NodeGIrls:
- Ippon Australia
- Common Code
- Redwolf + Rosch
- A Cloud Guru
Companies that supported SuperDaughter Day
- Tech Girls Movement
- Norman Disney & Young
- Green Hat Workshops
- Technology One Ltd
- University of Adelaide
- University of Technology Sydney
- Edith Cowan Uni
- OMG Tech
- Spark NZ
- Hobart’s LiveTiles
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