Winner of the WISE Impact Award
Amali De Alwis, CEO, Code First: Girls
Code First: Girls is a social enterprise that works with companies and women to increase the proportions of women in tech. Over the past 3 years they’ve provided £1.5 million worth of free tech education, taught 2500+ women how to code for free and are the largest provider of free in person coding courses for women in the UK. Lots of their alumni have gone on to do amazing things after the courses with some switching roles working with tech, others have become fully-fledged developers, a number have had successes at their workplace due to coding skills they have learnt and other alumni who have gone on to achieve great things like giving talks, setting up meet-groups and even publishing books. Amali previously worked as a consultant at PwC, which included a secondment to World Economic Forum. She also worked as a senior research and strategy consultant at TNS Global, where she advised organisations ranging from global banks to multinational retailers on stakeholder management, product, brand, and digital strategies. She is a Commissioner for the Doncaster Education and Skills Commission, a mentor at Start-up Direct and for the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council’s ‘CommonwealthFirst’ programme, a Tech London Advocate, as well as a fellow at the RSA. She has advised and mentored on a number of senior and youth leadership development programmes such as the Commonwealth CSC Leaders and 33Fifty, and regularly speaks at events such as the Institute of Ideas’ “Battle of Ideas”, Devoxx, and the World Wide Web Foundation’s “Web We Want” Festival.
Judges comments: The judges chose a community interest company creating a proven impact to give women new career opportunities as their winner in this category. The organisation is enabling a wide range of women and girls into the tech industries from a diverse range of educational backgrounds, at scale and with an amazing return on minimal resources.