Photo of a smiling Serena by a large window

Fam Spotlight: Introducing Serena

Hi, I’m Serena – the new Marketing Manager at 23 Code Street.

Since I can remember I’ve always been interested in social issues that are happening, especially involving women, and what can be done or more importantly what currently isn’t being done to overcome them. This has led to my family and friends listening countless times to me rant about different things I’m feeling particularly passionate about that day. Sorry, Mum.

I chose a career in marketing as I’m a firm believer that marketing has the power to change the world for good and plays a big role in tackling global and social problems. Marketing and social media is much more than just selfies and picture perfect photos.  A hashtag can create new social movements, unite marginalised voices, and demand political action.

Whilst studying Psychology and Education at university, I decided to do my final project about the lack of women working in STEM and how this could be improved. Before starting my research, I knew there was a ‘slight’ problem with women not going into STEM  but had no idea how big a complex issue it was. Rigid gender stereotypes, outdated curriculums, and fixed social norms were just a few barriers preventing women even considering a career in these industries. However, one thing was clear- organisations and initiatives like 23 Code Street play a much needed role in overcoming these barriers and helping change the culture and mindset in STEM for the long run.

 

Serena wears a large paper cupcake as decoration alongside her friend

I was part of the cake decorating society!

 

four women, including Serena, throw graduation caps in the air

 

Last year, I volunteered in Bangladesh for 3 months working on a gender equality and education project. The Bangladeshi women I met were an inspiration; they were resilient, confident and ambitious and when asked what skills they wanted to learn, all responded with the same answer- technical. In one town, a  group of women had set up a messaging service which allowed you to text confidential questions about taboo subjects, such as sex and periods, to an information hotline. Tech empowered these women to connect and take control of their lives. Women in developing countries don’t need handouts, they just need the opportunity to learn skills and thrive – this is exactly what 23 Code Street’s one for one model enables women to do.

 

A group of Bangladeshi women, some have their head covered, sit in a circle for a workshop

 

 

I’m really happy to call myself a member of the 23 Code Street family. Working towards our mission of empowering women with the skills to be technical is something I feel very proud to be part of. Let’s do this!

Want to hear more from Serena? You can follow her on twitter @serenchana29 or you can email her at serena@23codestreet.com