It is not often we get to meet celebrity-status Social do-gooders, but I have had the fortunate pleasure of meeting two almost back-to-back. At Oracle Code London I met and interviewed Dr. Sue Black founder of TechMums. Now at Oracle Code Brazil, I met and interviewed iamtheCODE founder, Mariéme Jamme who gave the keynote. Mariéme is Senegalese born, and faced many hardships on her journey to France and then the UK. So that others don’t have to go through what she did, Jamme is on a mission to train a million women and girl coders by 2030. She has already spread chapters and mentoring programs that have been used in Africa, Europe, South Asia and Latin America.
Our conversation started with football as the Word Cup 2018 is in full swing. Senegal had a 2-1 win over Poland, so that made for a great kick-off to our conversation. From there she discussed the importance of not only STEM but STEAMD (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, Arts and Design) as a way to empower young girls in disenfranchised communities and countries.
When I asked her about what she wanted developers at the conference to do or for that matter what companies like Oracle should be doing? She answered that most of these girls have never seen an office, so anyone who can help mentor girls would be a great step. Empowered girls and young women can become assets to companies and help them grow their business. By preparing young women for the job market, Mariéme mentioned that companies like Oracle have put Sao Paulo on the map.
Her message is not only for Africa but the world, where parts of society who are forgotten can become net positive contributors. Technology can be used as a tool, an investment in human and economic empowerment by giving vulnerable minds hope. The future looks bright based on my conversation with Jamme. If Senegal and Brazil reach the final there could be no better message that we can send from Oracle Code Brasil; Viva Mariéme, Viva Senegal, and Viva Brasil. Check out the video below.
You can learn more about iamtheCODE at iamtheCODE.org