In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March, Teens in AI is proud to be hosting its third annual #GirlsInAI hackathon. The London-based global initiative strives to increase diversity and inclusion in technology, with the hackathon aiming to create new opportunities for underrepresented talent through mentoring, talks, and exciting projects for girls aged 12-18.
The 2021 hackathon will be hosted across more than 20 countries, including Ethiopia, Canada, Syria, Fiji, and Azerbaijan, who will all be hearing directly from some of the most successful women in tech. With recent studies finding that just 18% of authors at leading AI conferences are women (AI Now Institute, 2019), the #GirlsInAI2021 event will provide young female talent with important role models within this notoriously male-dominated sector.
The highly anticipated event will see young women from all over the world coming together to learn the vital skills needed to drive innovation and solve today’s problems using cutting edge technologies.
What is particularly exciting about #GirlsInAI2021 is that former Teens in AI hackathon participant Amna will be acting as lead organiser for the Pakistan event. Aged just 15, Amna’s experience at a previous event shaped her decision to pursue a career in tech, and she is thrilled to be able to encourage others to consider a future in AI. “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.”
Teens in AI Founder and CEO, Elena Sinel, says, “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.”
Rob Jenkins, Chief of Education at UNICEF, which will participate and act as a judge throughout the event, said. “As technology becomes ever more ingrained in every aspect of our society, it is vital that we are providing young people with the tools they need to both contribute to it, and hold it accountable. The Girls in AI hackathon is providing young women and those from underrepresented backgrounds across the world with the opportunity to learn more about the possibilities that the world of AI offers, helping to ensure that the future of AI is diverse, ethical, and full of creative solutions for our society. We so look forward to seeing the projects that the teams create.”
The UK Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman MP said, “The Teens in AI programme gives girls the opportunity to explore the field of AI and data science to see potential career paths, learn from industry experts and compete in an exciting hackathon. It is a vital initiative for inspiring the next generation and creating a more diverse pipeline of talent and I encourage girls to get involved.”
The latest #GirlsInAI hackathon comes at a time when women have been disproportionately affected by the global health crisis. Through the hackathon, Sinel and her team hope to empower young women to drive a critical change in leadership that will be advantageous to the future good of humanity.
Teens In AI has already reached over 8000 teenagers in more than 100 cities through its hackathons, workshops, and other international events. Previous speakers have included L’Oreal Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet, and Harriet Green OBE. This year, participants can expect inspirational speeches on AI ethics, machine learning tools, and pitching skills, with an opportunity to join forces with like minded women to design and pitch a groundbreaking project.
The #GirlsInAI2021 hackathon by Teens in AI will take place between 6 – 14 March and is sponsored by Mastercard, IQVia, Accenture and a number of other companies across participating countries. To find out more, visit https://www.teensinai.com/girlsinai/girlsinai2021