Sunday 22 September, 2019

CIBC expands mentorship thrust through ICT education

The CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank team (in red back row) with participants in the CARIBBEAN.GIRLS.HACK – 2019 Hackathon at the Chinese Benevolent Association on May 14, 2019

The CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank team (in red back row) with participants in the CARIBBEAN.GIRLS.HACK – 2019 Hackathon at the Chinese Benevolent Association on May 14, 2019

CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has expanded its mentorship thrust as a sponsor and participant in the CARIBBEAN.GIRLS.HACK – 2019 Hackathon.

 The event, held on Tuesday at the Chinese Benevolent Association, Kingston, was hosted by SheLeadsIT in collaboration with Caribbean regional technology partner Restore a Sense of I Can (RSC) Tech Clubs.

CIBC FirstCaribbean, in addition to financial funding, fielded staff members from its local ICT units.  The bank previously supported Hackathon events in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, mentoring young girls and helping them create tech solutions.

The Caribbean.Girls.Hack – 2019 Hackathon, celebrated Girls in ICT, and was designed to give hundreds of girls in High Schools and Universities a two-month immersive and interactive experience in the use of technology to address issues affecting them, their families and communities in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

An important objective of the programme, March-May 2019, was to allow the girls to meet, form solid networks, hack and have fun while creating stronger regional ties between Caribbean countries.

Nigel Holness, Managing Director of CIBC FirstCaribbean said “helping young people to reach their full potential is a strategic focus of our bank’s mentorship programme and we fund hundreds of initiatives that support education, mentoring and skills development.  We are particularly proud to support CARIBBEAN.GIRLS.HACK – 2019 Hackathon and by extension, the movement to increase the number of girls and women pursuing careers in ICT.”

Noting that CIBC FirstCaribbean has participated in similar events before, Holness said, “the Hackathon gives the girls a taste of what can be achieved using ICT and helps them see it as a platform for self-development, studies and careers.  It is empowering our girls and women to not just be users of ICT but to also expand the regional pool of women working in ICT.”

 Hackathon 2019 will focus on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and climate change and resilience under the themes: #FutureSafeGirls and #ClimateSafeFutureSafe.

SheLeadsIT cofounders Bridget Lewis and Nicole Pitter-Patterson said “Through the Hackathon activities, we engaged the Hacker Girls in a deeper understanding and a critical thinking process, around the issue of GBV and Climate Change and Resilience to equip them to create technology solutions that are practical and workable and by doing so begin the process of seeing themselves as change agents to address these issues, not only in the Caribbean but globally.”

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