What do Kaizer Chiefs and ‘geeks’ have in common?

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Mbali Hlongwane, founder of Pink Codrs Africa, found a novel ally in her fight to get more African women coding and into STEM careers: South African soccer team, Kaizer Chiefs Football Club.

According to Hlongwane, Pink Codrs Africa, an organisation of female software developers, grew out of a series of networking events for female software developers aims to build a strong network of female software developers in South Africa, bringing together industry software developers, women in technology businesses and STEM students. 

With support from Kaizer Chiefs, Pink Codrs Africa have been able to expand that out into workshops and other opportunties.

For example, Hlongwane says, in 2019, Pink Codrs Africa, in partnership with Kaizer Chiefs secured 20 women an opportunity to be part of the Microsoft Professionals Data Science programme. 

Hlongwane says the recent Black Lives Matter global protests movement have put a spotlight on issues black people have faced for years, shifted the views of many and changed a lot of behaviours including how black people are treated in societies across the world. 

"As a black woman who has had opportunities and exposure to be able to climb the tech ladder, it is vital that we do not rise alone, that young black woman have the freedom and do not have to fight for opportunities and space in tech," she said, "As an organisation we are focused on enabling black women and growing the representation of black women in tech: To us diversity also means inclusion."

Hlongwane says even in the developed world, only 26 percent of computing professionals are female. – Forbes

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