February 8, 2018 – Multinational technology giant, Microsoft brought together 45 female students from the University of Ghana and Ashesi for its first ever Codess event in Africa. Hosted by Ashesi, the event, the first of its kind in Africa, brought together female students in Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology from both universities.

Initiated by Microsoft nearly five years ago, Codess is a community for female coders established to explore ways to promote gender diversity in the programming and engineering fields.

“Codess was started because of the need we see in growing female talent from the engineering and technical skills perspective," said Lerato Erasmus, University Recruiting Account Manager (Sub-Saharan Africa) at Microsoft. “We got a sense from the ladies that there was a lot more than coding that they took from the event. They also gained an understanding of who they are, and how to present themselves from a brand perspective. Having the experience of interacting with industry at university level gives an individual the edge in fitting into any role they apply for when they graduate, and I believe the event gave them that exposure.”

Over the years, multiple Codess events held across the globe have brought hundreds of young women-in-tech together, to network, share experiences, receive mentorship and career guidance, and also explore the opportunities within the tech giant. The forum also aims to inspire the female coders to help them achieve their professional goals.

At the event at Ashesi, the students had the opportunity to engage with Microsoft executives and also participate in an hour-long programming session based on Microsoft’s Azure platform.

“I signed up for the Codess event because I thought it would be a great opportunity to get more insight about the workings at Microsoft,” said Kalysa Owusu, third year Computer Engineering Student at Ashesi. “At the end, I came out with knowledge of Microsoft’s Azure platform as well as an increased sense of motivation for my future as a woman-in-tech. Besides the opportunity to chat with recruiters and actual Microsoft employees, I also learned that it’s always important to try something at least once before making a decision concerning whether or not you like it, and most importantly, to constantly learn new things!”