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Greenskills brings #Shelovesdata to SA

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Stereotypes about women in the workplace, particularly in IT where men hold the lion’s share of jobs, are perpetuated from an early age — and girls themselves buy into them.
This is according to Premie Naicker, CEO of Greenskills Consulting, who says: “From an early age, girls are persuaded that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) is ‘hard’, or it’s ‘for boys’.
“The end result is obvious in our school statistics, where very few girls go on to study STEM subjects at high school level. Even fewer study affiliated courses at tertiary level. It’s no wonder, then, that IT has become a male-dominated industry.”
Naicker adds that education of women is key to growing the technology sector and the economy equally.
GreenSkills has partnered with an international initiative called #Shelovesdata to grow skills in the industry, particularly in data science, analytics, and business intelligence (BI).
She Loves Data, formerly DataGirls, was created in the Czech Republic and has trained more than 2 000 women around the world in data science skills. Partnering with international leaders in BI, the She Loves Data training focuses on the practical application of software, demystifying the world of data and opening up work opportunities in the field.
“In 2014 we established a non-profit organisation, called Czechitas, and started the journey towards higher tech literacy among women and youth. We have expanded our portfolio to many areas of information technology. Along with Keboola, we have created DataGirls, which provides courses on data analytics,” explains Zuzana Bednarova, leader of She Loves Data.
“We want more women and diversity in tech, because it’s important for all of us. Digital literacy is becoming a vital skill in all professions, and many companies lack diversity in their teams.
“We don’t just organise courses on programming, web development, graphic design or data analytics. We create an environment where no one needs to feel afraid to raise their hand, and has the best conditions for improving their skills. We create inspirational stories of women in tech. We help them to find their way into tech, motivate and educate them.”
As part of the partnership, GreenSkills will host one-day workshops introducing women to the basics of data analysis. These workshops will be conducted in partnership with sponsor companies in the BI space, and GreenSkills is actively exploring sponsorship opportunities in the industry.
“She Loves Data provides the platform where women with an interest in entering IT can get their basic bearing and learn the foundations of data analytics and BI,” says Naicker. “It’s unique in the industry, and is the only initiative of its kind in the world. We are extremely proud to be bringing this amazing learning experience to the local market.
“Our courses will not make participants an analyst or BI developer, but they are structured to help them understand the foundation of the technology. The goal is to help them understand that this space is not as complicated as it looks and everything is matter of structured learning, and is designed for data beginners as an introduction into the logical thinking behind data analytics and BI. It aims to provide a good overview of data analytics infrastructure and best practices through a hands-on case approach, as participants will get to build their own analytics solution on real data with real business problems.”
There are no formal prerequisites for the course. “#Shelovesdata is open to all women. No knowledge of analytics or programming skills is required,” Naicker says.