Suhaifa Naidoo, chairperson of GGDCPT, welcomed the students in her introduction speech, saying: “I think it is a big achievement that we finally got so many to attend.”
HumanIPO reported on Naidoo’s appeal at the previous event to involve more students to attend the tech-focused dinners.
“It is great to see these girls are interested in technology and also pursue other careers and they will use technology to make life better for themselves,” Naidoo said.
The matric pupils of Edgemead High School were very excited to attend the event as guided by Monique Velacott, computer applications technology (CAT) teacher at the school.
Gizelle Ricketts, matriculant at Edgemead High School, said: “Studying CAT at school gives a person an advantage over people who do not know how to use technology in further studies or in the workplace.”
One of the guest speakers, software developer at Open Box Software, Shulina Naicker, spoke about the challenges of entering the industry as a female.
Naicker said sometimes females have to face “back-in-the-kitchen jokes” or “boys push documentation on you because they think women are better at doing admin”.
“First of all never doubt yourself because of people who try to make you feel small and incapable,” Naicker advised.
“If you know who you are, there is no reason you shouldn’t excel.”
Other speakers included programmer Lyndsay Lawrence and software developer Clint Lynch, who both emphasises the ‘female’ label is not an obstacle to shine in the tech field.
Caitlyn Cole, who wants to become a criminologist, believes: “Technology has become essential in finding answers, either in depth or quickly, both for business or personal reasons.”
Another pupil, Tracey Holt, said: “Technology makes life a million times better. Technology has a way of bringing people together. A world without technology is like a zebra without its stripes.”
A twitter report (see below) compiled by event sponsor BrandsEye with GGCPDT tweets during, before and after the event said 354 conversations about the March dinner were tweeted with 328,010 opportunities to observe the mentions.
The brands mentioned added up to a marketing value of ZAR88,637 (US$9,600).
Naidoo also announced the availability of the community’s app. It is now also available on BlackBerry10 devices, after previously only accessible to iOS and Android users.
The GGDCPT app features the latest Geek Girl news, high resolution images in a flip-through magazine format and interactive sponsor logos.