3 min. read
Xena's Social Impact Award Winner 2023
Charlene Hunter on how to create impact in tech
Achieving social impact requires more than just having a vision. It demands empathetic leadership, commitment to break biases and become a rolemodel of conscious inclusion.
We believe everyone has a responsibility to empower others and be inclusive. However, there are some leaders out there who go above and beyond to increase the number of women and girls accessing tech. This is why we are proud to partner with FARFETCH, to honour the leaders who are doing what has never been done before.
We are thrilled to introduce Xena’s Social Impact Award Winner 2023: Charlene Hunter, CEO & Founder of Coding Black Females.
Unfortunately, Charlene couldn’t join us at the Awards Ceremony but see on the right; Rachael Nakaye and Esther Cole received the award on Charlene’s behalf.
What inspires you to push equality in tech?
I’ve been working in tech for a long time and didn’t see diversity around me. This led me to fund Coding Black Females (CBF).I loved my job and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share this with the world.
What inspired me was the excitement of what I was working on and I wanted to show how fantastic the tech industry is.
I also wanted to meet other people like me, connect, and help gain them access to this industry.
What are your goals for CBF this year?
Our mission is to enable and provide opportunities for Black female developers to develop themselves in the industry whilst making meaningful connections.
This year we have a target of directly impacting 1000 women.
We would like to grow our network to 2500 members and allow them to have access to our events or participate as much as they just want. Whether they want upscale, get guidance, or find opportunities. Last year, our numbers were higher, and trained 1500 women but now we’re focusing on quality over quantity.
Learn more about Black Codher Bootcamp run by Coding Black Females and Niyo Enterprise, dedicated to getting more Black women into technology.
How can we encourage organisations to prioritise social impact?
Think about the industry and what it means to you. Every time I find it hard, I remember the main goal: we have to be the change to see the change.
The things we create need to support and represent the world we live in.
Otherwise, we won’t build the right solutions. Creating an impact can start by thinking short term and grow into longer timeframes.
How can you kick-start your social impact journey in tech?
If you want to help but don’t know how – remember it doesn’t have to come from the top-down or viceversa. Everything and anything is valid and you can simply start by:
• Mentor someone and support their career.
• Learn and educate yourself on what social impact is and what is the current status quo. For example, find organisations that company could work with and support their mission.
• Connect and participate in existing groups and communities that already exist. You don’t have to create one, you can join an existing one.