As International Women’s Day approaches, we want to spotlight the remarkable stories of women who have left an indelible impact on their communities. Today, we have the pleasure of sharing our conversation with Nurul Jihadah Hussain, a globally recognized community leader and the founder of The Codette Project.
Since its establishment in December 2015, The Codette Project has been a ground-up initiative committed to increasing the representation of minority and Muslim women in technology. Their long-term vision is to create an inclusive community by providing tech skills, building collaborative networks, and amplifying underrepresented women’s stories of success.
Notably, The Codette Project was the first organization in Singapore to host a women-only hackathon in 2018, and they have also spearheaded groundbreaking events like creating stock photos that envision a more diverse tech industry.
What comes to your mind when you think of #EmbraceEquity?
I think that it's definitely time for us to embrace equity! The conversation around equality for all women can and should move past mere understanding to practice. Embracing equity should be the starting point for this endeavor!
How have you handled setbacks and resistance when trying to gain support for a cause, and what did you learn from those experiences?
When The Codette Project began organizing Singapore's first hackathon for women, some people said things like "if women wanted to be in tech, they would be in tech." They assumed that the underrepresentation of women at traditional hackathons was due to a lack of interest from women. Our work proves that women do want to be in tech, but limited perceptions of who usually participates in hackathons may have discouraged female participation. Our hackathon sold out in just over two weeks, demonstrating that sometimes the people who can't see the problem lack imagination.
Can you share with us the best advice you have ever received and also the best advice you have given to someone?
One piece of advice that I have received is to "take one day at a time, and if that's still too hard, take it one hour or 15 minutes at a time."
As for giving advice, I often share that most decisions can be changed over time. Whether you decide to join a company, study something, or move somewhere, remember that it's not forever. You can always change your mind and know that it's completely okay to do so.
We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights on overcoming limiting perceptions and creating opportunities for personal growth. Look out for more inspirational stories with our upcoming International Women’s Day celebratory event happening on March 11th as we look to embrace equity!
Author: Jamie Low
Editor: Rachel Tan