DCU hosts first all-female hackathon

The Hub last weekend played host to the country’s first all-female hackathon, aimed at getting more girls to learn coding.

About a hundred girls between the ages of 15-17 milled into The Hub with the aim of building new websites while adding a flavour of Ireland to the site. The event is aimed to get young women creating with code, according to Anne-Marie Imafidon, founder of UK-based organisation Stemettes, which ran the hackathon at DCU with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

Hackathon judge Prof Christine Loscher from DCU hopes the event will encourage more young women to be aware of opportunities in the digital technology sector.

“The future of technology looks bright, after seeing what these girls did today,” she said.

However, she cited figures for Ireland from the Higher Education Authority that of 2,613 applicants to study computer science in 2013, only 436 were female.

“Innovation needs diversity, and if we don’t have greater participation by women we could face a disaster for innovation in Ireland,” she said.

CEO of Silicon Republic Ann O’Dea spoke about the importance of “changing the ratio” and increasing diversity and female participation in STEM.

“It’s very important that women are part of shaping the future,” she said.

Plans are afoot to host a Girls Hack Ireland event at the Silicon Republic Inspire 2015 festival in Dublin in June.

Finnian Curran
Image Credit: Girls Hack Ireland

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