Mentoring younger students, particularly women, is not only challenging but inspiring. Being a woman in Computer Science, in a heavily male dominated field, is often a challenging experience. It is not unusual for a woman to find herself undermined by her classmates, just because she doesn’t fit the stereotypical “Computer Science” mould.
In conversation with senior women students in the Department, one often finds that they have had a journey of nearly quitting Computer Science. This was, nearly always, preempted by having spoken with other women students or lecturers, who encouraged them to continue, and reassured them, that they were in fact capable of pursing a Computer Science degree.
This begged the question, “How many female students would have continued and pursued a degree in Computer Science degree, had there been some form of encouragement and mentoring available?” In response to this, WICS was started in 2011 by some postgraduate students and was officially recognized to be a UCT society in 2015.
We strive to gather the women in the department together to encourage conversation, support, mentorship and ultimately aid in increasing the female population of the department.