In a bid to reclaim the narratives of underrepresented groups in tech, The Codette Project has
also created a set of stock photos to show what the world of technology would look like if it
was more diverse. For her efforts, Ms Nurul was one of the 115 global leaders chosen for
Facebook’s Community Leadership Programme in 2018.
According to Ms Nurul, she has always been interested in social issues, and technology became a
way for her to work for equality and empower others.
She explained: "Technology provides everyone the opportunity to get better at something they're
passionate about – whether it's design, user experience, coding or data analysis – there's
something for everyone to learn in tech."
"It matters to me because women matter. Talent and capability are equally
distributed across different communities – it is access and opportunity that creates gaps
MS NURUL JIHADAH HUSSAIN,
founder, The Codette Project
However, the tech sector itself needed more diversity in representation. Citing a 2015 McKinsey
study that showed companies in the top quartile for gender, ethnic and racial diversity in
management were likely to perform better, she said: "For me it was clear that there was a lot of
necessary work that needed to be done for more just and equitable representation in tech, and
that someone had to start doing that work." Ms Nurul is passionate about her mission, pointing
out that women deserve full access to the opportunities provided by technology.
"It matters to me because women matter. Talent and capability are equally distributed across
different communities – it is access and opportunity that creates gaps in success. We deserve
SERVING THE PUBLIC
Dr Kwong Yuk Wah initially had plans to become a different type of doctor – a medical
professional, because she loved biology as a child.
"However, I did not like chemistry," the Adjunct Professor at the National University of
Singapore's School of Computing recalled. "So I studied computer science by chance, because my
IQ score at the university entrance test qualified me to study this subject."
That life-changing decision led Dr Kwong on a four-decade-long career spanning major public
sector IT initiatives, such as the Civil Service Computerisation Programme, e-government
initiatives and NTUC’s digitalisation efforts.
Dr Kwong is the former chief information officer of NTUC and currently the advisor to CEO, NTUC
Club on digitalisation, besides sitting on numerous tech-related boards and committees such as
the Singapore Computer Society and the AI Ethics & Governance Steering Committee.
"STEM, just like IT (information technology), is in every aspect of our
lives. It has a profound impact on economic and social development."
DR KWONG YUK WAH
, advisor to CEO, NTUC Clubon digitalisation
She believes that there is a need to reshape public perception of STEM (science, technology,
engineering and mathematics) to include its value to humanity as a whole. "STEM, just like IT
(information technology), is in every aspect of our lives. It has a profound impact on economic
and social development. Young girls and women can help improve the quality of lives and make a
big difference in society."
Since STEM is so integral to modern life, Dr Kwong highlights that any tech solution should also
consider the unique needs and desires of women in order to meet the needs of society more fully.
Hence, more women are needed in STEM professions to provide the diverse viewpoints needed to
create those solutions.
She added that this is a very exciting time for women in tech. "There are many female role models
who can be their mentors to provide guidance and advice on their professional development,
career advancement and perhaps even personal life experiences too."