Gender equality shines at AWShine Diversity Hack

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/thodonal)

A weekend-long hackathon was run by Amazon Women Shine which – although open to all genders – each team had to have a gender mix to participate. The organisers say this approach was successful, and reached the ideal 50 – 50 split between men and women in each participating team. 

The participants approached a problem, conceptualised a solution, and created a prototype over the course of 48 hours. Although the winning team, CopyConnect, were the last to pitch their idea, they ended-up in first place for their innovative AI copywriting, proofreading, and analysis tool. 

Leader of team CopyConnect, Julia Clavien, had never attended a hackathon before. This seems to prove how effective hackathon dedicated to encouraging diversity such as AWShine can be. 

It's a more positive look at Amazon who recently came under fire after reports of horrendous working conditions at the company were revealed such as the Panorama documentary which focused on an employee, the miles he walked, the blisters he suffered, the ridiculous targets, and being monitored by an "Orwellian" handset every second. Or a report in the New York Times which claimed Amazon employees often broke down crying at their desk because of the "cut-throat" nature at the company. 

Describing the AWShine event, Amazon says: "Amazon has hundreds of millions of customers who will benefit from all forms of diversity. We are a company of builders who bring varying backgrounds, ideas, and points of view to inventing on behalf of our customers."

"Our diverse perspectives come from many sources including, gender, race, age, culture, and education, as well as professional and life experiences. We are working to develop leaders and shape future talent pools to help us meet the needs of our customers around the world." 

Another AWShine hackathon will take place in Melbourne this month on September 19th. To learn how to take part and register for the event, head this way. 

Do you feel more hackathons should promote gender equality? Let us know in the comments. 

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