The New Girl Code
The New Girl Code is a series of novels about the wonders of working in tech, aimed at girls and young women.
The project is an initiative of Inspiring Fifty, a non-profit that aims to increase diversity in tech by making role models more visible.
Technology means possibilities, innovation and creativity. However, a lot of young girls have a totally different view of tech. They see tech as one-note — something to be done alone in a basement, not as something creative that can be used across various fields. That is why we want to create a role model for them, one they can relate to and who can bring the possibilities
of tech to life and make it relevant for them. Early in life, girls are making important decisions about their education and by not choosing STEM subjects they will impact their future without realizing it. It limits their individual potential and the choices and opportunities they will have later in life. They deserve all the opportunities and should know there are no limitations to their dreams.
A recent study underlines the need for initiatives such as this one. Girls lose interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) at a very young age, and both female role models and the need to provide girls with the opportunity to express their creativity through hands-on experiences are seen as crucial to change this. We need this change for the girls themselves, but also for an economy that cannot afford to forget these girls. Around 90% of jobs are estimated to need at least some level of digital skills and we are already facing a big shortage of skilled people to fill all jobs in technology. A shortage that will only increase.
The book’s Dutch edition under the name Project Prep was launched with the support of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, where it is a best-seller. Project Prep has become a movement in its home country and now aims to do the same in other countries to inspire and empower girls to work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
The New Girl Code, South Africa - the story
Tumi Letsatsi is a 15-year old melanin kween living in Rondebosch, Cape Town. Her favourite colour is yellow, she is still trying to figure out how not to dent her afro on the bus, and how one goes about (ahem!) “French kissing”. She’s a little awkward and a lot uncertain about her future, friendships and how to put together a cool outfit! But then she stumbles across the magic of coding and creates an app called “The New Girl Code” that goes viral and rockets her and her friends to fame. Then everything starts to fall apart as she deals with a catfish who befriends her and steals her code, nasty rumours at school and the newfound attention of a crush.
Find out more about this project on the website.