Teens in AI is almost set to host its third annual #GirlsInAI hackathon, and this year’s event falls nicely in line with International Women’s Day 2021 (8 March) celebrations.
Dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion across the global technology sector, the hackathon is designed to broaden access to industry opportunities through mentorship, industry discussions and a range of other projects for girls aged 12–18.
The hackathon will be hosted across more than 20 countries – including Ethiopia, Canada, Syria, Fiji and Azerbaijan – with participants gaining access to first-hand insights from leading women in tech.
This year’s event will include speeches on AI ethics, machine learning tools and professional pitching skills – giving participants the chance to engage with like-minded women to design and pitch a cutting-edge project.
Research from the AI Now Institute in 2019 found that just 18% of authors at leading Ai conferences are women, and that’s part of why the #GirlsInAI2021 event strives to give young, aspiring female AI professionals the positive industry role models they need to feel confident and inspired to pursue a career in a traditionally male-dominated field.
This year, former Teens in AI participant Amna will head up the Pakistan event. At just 15, Amna’s previous experience in the hackathon drove her decision to pursue a career in tech. “I know girls are discouraged when they think of pursuing STEM fields, but I believe that if you have the passion, a creative mind, and an internet connection, you can do anything,” she said.
This year’s event is particularly timely as girls and women across the world have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic – with women across the globe losing paid and unpaid work as a result of the pandemic, being more likely to be laid off than their male counterparts due to the impact of the crisis.
Elena Sinel, founder and CEO of Teens in AI, commented: “In keeping with the #ChoosetoChallenge theme of International Women’s Day, we want to inspire the next generation of ethical AI researchers, entrepreneurs and leaders who will shape the world of tomorrow, and we believe that in order to deliver change and drive innovation, the industry needs greater diversity; we need to hear ideas from those that have grown up having a whole host of experiences, and that means motivating more and more young women to explore AI, machine learning and data science.”
Teens in AI has already reached over 8,000 teens in more than 100 cities through hackathons, workshops and other international events.
The #GirlsInAi2021 hackathon takes place from 6–14 March. Click here to find out more about the event.