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Female & Fearless 2023: Digital Skills Workshop

How do you ‘own your power’? Sometimes, the first step is to explore new skills and tap into hidden ‘superpowers’. An empowered woman is able to accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

On 4 November 2023, Young Women’s Leadership Connection (YWLC) partnered with Goldman Sachs’ APAC Women in Engineering group to run the Digital Skills Workshop, the second part of the Female & Fearless (F&F) 2023 programme. This is the fifth year of partnership between both organisations. 

With the theme of “Find Your Voice, Own Your Power” and a superhero motif this year, the F&F programme focused on empowering female students, aged between 13 and 15, to take ownership of their unique voices, step up to the plate and bring positive change in their communities - through the building of confidence and digital programming skills. Students from Broadrick Secondary School, Woodgrove Secondary School and Edgefield Secondary School joined both the Confidence Workshop, held on 28 October in UOB’s 28BQ Employee Clubhouse, as well as the Digital Skills Workshop held at the Goldman Sachs office in Mapletree Anson. 

At the Digital Skills Workshop, more than 50 students had a hands-on learning experience with Python programming software and hardware basics. Grouped into twos or threes across the three different schools, the students first tested out and got familiar with code at their coding stations, learnt about Raspberry Pi, then experienced making a smart lamp and managing LED lights with code. Students were guided and mentored by Goldman Sachs’ volunteers throughout the different exercises. 

A friendly competition to round up the session challenged students to get to specified solutions using code within the shortest amount of time possible. Winners and participants received sustainable prizes such as stainless steel bottles and reusable cups. 

In addition to hands-on learning, students also heard from seasoned female professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) space. The workshop’s opening remarks were given by Mariko Wakao, Chairperson of Goldman Sachs’ APAC Women in Engineering, who shared about her career trajectory in the finance sector. A panel with female leaders at Goldman Sachs gave a snapshot into pursuing and maintaining a thriving career in STEM.

Students also had the chance to network with Goldman Sachs’ employees, including new joiners and fresh graduates, over lunch - where they were able to find out more about engineering and technological paths and roles in the finance sector, as well as glean insight from personal experiences. 

Closing the workshop - students shared that they enjoyed meeting and working through challenges with their newfound friends, felt energised from learning and honing new skills that could equip them for tertiary education and future career journeys, and were grateful for the hands-on guidance from the Goldman Sachs volunteers that eased the learning curve.

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