Baratanh Miya

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South African self-taught coder Baratang Miya grew up in an atmosphere of racial division and calamity. Her expectation to succeed as a young black child was, therefore, minimal. Most of her high school days were spent fighting apartheid, allowing her very little time to think about creative inspiration. However, she belonged to a dance club that took trips to Mmabana Cultural Center in Mafikeng, two hours from her Klerksdorp home. And it was there that she was exposed to art that triggered something inside of her.

That spark became a 15-year-strong business. Defying the tumultuous circumstances of her childhood, Miya received both a Bachelor of Social Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Cape Town, then remained in the city. Soon she had accomplished her goal of creating an immersive program, much like a startup incubator, to teach 20 unemployed female university graduates how to code and get jobs in tech companies. The 46-year-old is now the founder and CEO of GirlHype, a school for women and girls that offers free and paid coding courses, events, advises companies on tech talent processes and procedures, and manages a community of female developers interested in tech, coding and entrepreneurship.

Aside from GirlHype, Miya is also the Regional Coordinator for five Mozilla Clubs for Women and Girls in Cape Town and has partnered with the University of Western Cape to create a women-only Code Academy, an extension of GirlHype's program.

Miya’s current goal is to reach 200,000 women and girls by the year 2020, teaching them how to code, exposing them to tech careers and increasing the number of women in tech and entrepreneurship. February and March 2018 will find Miya in Cairo for a TechWomen delegation trip with a mission of impacting young women and girls. She then plans to do the same for women and girls in Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and other countries.

STEMTeneille Craig