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SheHacks: A 36-hour hackathon for women

  • January 27, 2018

This weekend during Boston University, some-more than 1,000 women and femme non-binary individuals will formula until they save a universe — or until time runs out on Sunday morning.

They’re partial of SheHacks Boston, a ‘hackathon’ that aims to inspire women and non-binary people to join a fields of science, technology, engineering and arithmetic (better famous as STEM).

“In a nutshell, a hackathon is an eventuality that takes place between 24 to 48 hours, where hundreds, if not thousands of people, get together and use record to solve genuine universe problems,” Helen Zhang, one of a event’s coordinators, tells Day 6 horde Brent Bambury.



The thesis of this year’s SheHacks Boston eventuality is “Hacking for a Greater Social Good.” Participants will tackle a plan within one of 5 areas: domestic polarization, health and wellness, disaster relief, gender equivalence and environmental issues.

“There is unequivocally a singular appetite that we can’t get anywhere else, where everybody around we is so encouraged to learn.”


Lacking representation

Only 23 per cent of people operative in STEM brand as female. Similarly, 28 per cent of graduates with university degrees in STEM are women. Zhang hopes to change that, generally given a pushback she’s gifted as a lady in tech.

“When we told my relatives that we unequivocally wanted to learn mechanism scholarship and switch my vital they were intensely opposite it. They kind of said, in a way, that it’s like a man’s field,” says Zhang.

“It was unequivocally troublesome and it took them a prolonged time to usually accept a fact that I’m going to hang with mechanism science.”


Christy Taves, a member during a event, has felt a prick of being a lady in a male-dominated field. Often she feels like a peculiar lady out.

“I’m not a masculine who usually wants to wear a hoodie and lay on my mechanism all day. we consider a enlightenment and a thought unequivocally steers women away,” she says.


Girl power

While hackathons are zero new, a SheHacks Boston is novel. Men are authorised usually in a singular ability — as volunteers and mentors, not participants — and a eventuality is being billed as a largest women-and femmes-only hacking event.

“It’s a singular appetite and it’s so motivating to see all these other women,” says Zhang.

SheHacks Boston Logo

SheHacks is a 36-hour “hackathon” holding place during Boston University Jan. 26 to 28. (

Coding for 36 hours isn’t what women in a attention should expect, says Zhang. Rather, SheHacks Boston is a springboard for immature women.

“I consider a value of this eventuality is some-more so to unequivocally rivet with others who are meddlesome and ardent again with a same interests we have, and also make that initial training bend not so scary,” she says.


Things are changing

For all a discouraging numbers, there does seem to be enlivening news: Zhang says that she’s starting to see a change in how women are represented.

“I remember my unequivocally initial mechanism scholarship class … we consider it was 80 percent group and 20 percent females,” says Zhang.

“Lately, like this semester, it is over a 50/50 split.”


She cautions that a attention has a prolonged approach to go before it reaches gender parity, though she’s carefree that in 10 to 15 years, STEM will demeanour be distant opposite for women.

In a meantime, she has difference of recommendation for girls: check Google.

“We’re vital in an age where we could unequivocally learn yourself anything we want … Go online, see something cold and kind of reconstruct it yourself. Maybe customise it to what we wish it to be.”


To hear a full shred with Helen Zhang, download our podcast or click a ‘Listen’ symbol during a tip of this page.

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