Old Mutual Zim equips women with digital skills Old Mutual says it values the importance of developing globally competitive women who are equipped with the relevant digital technology and innovation skills. (File Picture).

Business Reporter

Old Mutual innovation hub, Eight2Five will today, host a computer coding training for women to hone computer programming skills in the female gender as well grow its interest in digital technologies and innovation.

The coding boot camp, to be conducted today, is being held in the context of this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, aptly titled DigitALL: Innovation and Technology For Gender Equality.

“Ensuring that female entrepreneurs get a globally competitive advantage is of great importance to us, this is why we took the initiative to put this together and continue the journey of empowerment,” Old Mutual Women’s Network leader Kudakwashe Mswaka, said.

According to data from the US-based International Centre for Women & Information Technology, women have made huge advances in fields like medicine and law, but the high-tech fields are still dominated by men.

With Old Mutual keen to develop more tech-focused skills in women to break the gender divide, the coding boot camp seeks to empower women who are interested in understanding the basics of coding and raise the womenfolk’s interest in digital and innovation.

Some have already been using innovative ways to support their business operations or to reduce costs and would learn more about digital enhancement in their various fields.

“So far, we have been integrating innovation in our business through chatbots and automated call receivers, just to mention a few where we are seeing business enhancement opportunities,” said Sekai Murindazu the managing director of Flowers Pro.

The boot camp will be a half a day event open to people willing to learn or enhance their coding skills. By the end of the training, the women should be able to build their own websites and develop UX design skills.

At Old Mutual Zimbabwe, entrepreneurship is an important core pillar of the responsible business strategy. The commitment to supporting small businesses so that they realize their aspiration is being driven by creating initiatives and opportunities for entrepreneurs. Last year, Eight2Five innovation hub started a cloud computing upskilling programme for local technology and information communication technology (ICT) entrepreneurs.

The programme sought to upskill local entrepreneurs and start-ups in solving real-world problems through technology.

Powered by Old Mutual, Eight2Five last year hosted the first hybrid Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Computing onboarding in Harare.

The cloud computing session was a success, which drew over 65 developers and tech enthusiasts that attended the event in person while others joined virtually.

The vision of the Eight2Five innovation hub is to partner with Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and start-ups to achieve a shared vision of solving real world and business problems through technology. The coding bootcamp is opened to all women pursuing coding skills that unlock digital and innovation ideas and careers.

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