Uber, in partnership with Qhakaza Girl IT, invited 120 grade 11 and 12 students from underprivileged Durban schools to attend the third annual Uber Innovation Masterclass at the Durban Botanic Gardens. The masterclasses aimed to connect young people to guidance and career opportunities and with this year’s theme focusing solely on the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
According to Women in Technology South Africa, only 23% of tech jobs are held by women, and out of 236,000 information and communication technology (ICT) jobs, women hold only 56,000, respectively. . This illustrates how little recognition and opportunity is given to women in South Africa in such a highly acclaimed industry.
Uber, in collaboration with Qhakaza Girl IT, advocated for the empowerment of women in STEM and, through the Masterclass, was able to effectively connect young female learners to a multitude of information and networking opportunities. . The Masterclass offered these talented young girls the opportunity to learn more about the STEM industry, connecting with experts and ended with building their own drones, which could be brought back to their schools for explore with the rest of the students and teachers.
Engage young people
After her visit to Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco a few years ago, Yolisa Kani, public policy manager at Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, designed the masterclass to inspire young people to think about and engage at this critical STEM level. . She felt that South Africa should be tied.
General Manager Alon Lits said of the masterclass: “The day focused on contributing and interacting with students on how Uber works and what kind of career one can venture into. in the STEM field. More importantly, to make sense. opportunities and innovation for young people. “
With a host of guest speakers, including Flippage, who is the first black South African man to create his own smartphone. Flippage served as a mentor to those present. Age and privilege are not the determining factors when it comes to creating change or chasing dreams. The SchoolsNet Youth Spark program ran alongside the Innovation Masterclass, which aimed to encourage other teachers to inspire their students to use critical and innovative thinking in STEM.