My technology career is a happy accident. Accident because, when I joined Accenture, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I joined because my friends were also hired and I thought it would be interesting to do some programming work. In the end, 21 years later, I still like what I do and I am working with people I trust and respect.
My interest in programming began when I was a kid, when I found building virtual worlds to be so much fun. That sense of possibility and wonder, I never lost it. Which is why I was thrilled to meet like-minded young women at Develop Her, Accenture’s all-female hackathon, last September.
The goal of Develop Her was to generate working technology solutions that encourage females to get into technology. More than 60 women joined and they imbued their passion for technology—and gender equality in technology—into their solutions.
Develop Her’s Grand Champion, Team Inhinyeras, designed a paper-doll mobile app called Dress Up and Play Your Future to help girls visualize themselves as women working in technology while learning basic concepts about systems administration, embedded systems and data science. I think this was a fantastic concept! Breaking away from the typical makeup, cooking, clothing focused paper dolls, they are going to show young girls that working in technology is also a cool and interesting job.
Team 20, the hackathon’s Runner Up, created a platform called Be A Unicorn. Their platform encourages the users to develop their skills or passion by getting easy access to mentors, events, communities and other resources. This will demonstrate how technology is providing a better learning experience for everyone with unique interests.
Team Beauties Who Code, who developed Abakada Guro, won the Most Innovative Hack award. Abakada Guro is a web application that will help kids learn how to read the abakada alphabet even before entering pre-school. Team Filipina Hacker Moms (FHMoms), a team composed of work-from-home moms, won the Best Beginner Hack Award. Their project, pushmoyantech.com, is a one-stop shop for women who want to start their tech careers.
The coding was intense, but we broke it up with sessions where participants, Accenture leaders and resource speakers could talk about issues faced by women in technology. There were candid exchanges about gender bias, lack of support from spouses, even burnout, but empowering practices were also shared.
I count myself lucky. Not only do have a husband who understands and encourages my professional goals, I’m also with a company that strives to be the best place for ALL its employees. It’s beyond being gender-blind—it’s about being truly inclusive and supportive of diversity in all its forms.
I’ve benefited from this open-mindedness at Accenture and that’s why I try to pay it forward. My career has given me countless ways to grow, create and fulfill my potential. I am happy that the same career gives me this opportunity to coach the next generation of women technologists. In my own little way, I hope I am helping to make our country a better place.
Team Inhinyeras emerged as the Grand Champion at the Develop Her Hackathon. Their app was called Dress Up and Play Your Future. Standing alongside the winners are Develop Her hackathon’s esteemed judges
(l-r, back row) Co-founder and Trustee at Python.PH Micaela Reyes, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Girlie Miralles, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Jen Tuazon, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Gwen Yason, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Reg Lim, Bridge Southeast Asia Chief Technology Officer Suzy Lee and Women Who Code Founder Michie Ang.
Industry leaders candidly shared insights about women in tech, gender bias, empowering practices and careers in Technology alongside Accenture leadership.
(L-R: Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Goyi Layug, UN-International Labor Organization Women in STEM Workforce Readiness and Development Programme National Project Coordinator Lites Viloria, Connected Women CEO and Co-Founder Gina Romero, Computer Professionals, Inc. Co-founder & Vice President Ito Gruet, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director George Son Keng Po, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Girlie Miralles and Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Managing Director Gwen Yason
Team Filipina Hacker Moms (FHMoms), a team composed of work-from-home moms, won the Best Beginner Hack Award.
Original post published here.