By Lillian Guo
The loneliness that comes creeping in every so often when you are a girl in engineering is something I’ve become familiar with. I love what I’m studying and being able to meet and be surrounded as many people who are passionate about the subject is a privilege; but it still stings when you walk into an exam room of twenty or so people as the only female.
In the same way that my peers have given me support and inspired me with their passion, being able to soak in the enthusiasm and energy of the women around me in 2017’s first Girls Programming Network session was a very humbling experience. To be able to see as many girls exposed to the magic of coding in the computer labs was a first, I am impressed by and grateful to their enthusiasm. By late afternoon, in the hectic moments of wiping away whiteboard markings off of a laminated sheet with a puzzle on it, I forgot how tired I was, and at the end of the day, when a girl asks if she could bring her dad in so that he could email the code, I am a little envious of how early she has been exposed to the magic, but more than anything else, I am glad that she loved it as much as she did.
Being able to be one of the two hundred or so women gathered together voluntarily to immerse themselves with coding, I hope that someday a girl would not walk into a classroom and feel her heart sink a little because of her gender.
To Renee and all the other wonderful tutors who helped organise today and prepare the activities and workshops, thank you for making GPN possible, and to the students, thank you for choosing to spend the day at GPN