Baratang Miya is a South African-based visionary and award-winning tech social entrepreneur whose vision is to grow and make an increase in the number of women and girls in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) space. Growing up in Klerksdorp, she is a graduate from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is the founder and CEO at Girlhype coding academy for women and girls in some underserved communities in South Africa.
Inspired by her own experience with technology and a firm belief in women’s education, Baratang Miya thought of doing something to change women and girls life ensuring that women and young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds had the opportunity to pursue careers in the technology industry. The industry is believed to be male-dominated, but Miya decided to turn the tables, so in 2003 she founded GirlHype.
She believes in promoting female education, coding skills and Web design in particular, and she taught herself how to code and started helping girls to learn the technical skills needed to succeed. She said that “One day when I was designing a PowerPoint presentation at an Internet cafe, I sat next to a computer science student. We used to bounce ideas off each other, and I wasn’t happy with my layout. He suggested designing it to accommodate a Web site, but I didn’t know how, so he showed me, and within an hour, I had designed my first Web page. The feeling was amazing. I decided this is what I wanted to do.”
Through GirlHype she launched several technology clubs in and around Cape Town, South Africa such as the Mozilla Clubs for Women and Girls, a club in partnership with the United Nations that taps allies and community leaders to build web literacy and support gender inclusion in technology.
Her efforts in trying to put women and girls on the map in the technology industry have resulted in several good global programs that provided consistent impact on youth, educators and technology startups.
Baratang was named as one of the top 3 nominees for the 2016 MTN Women In ICT Community Builder Award, and the US State Department has also recognized her commitment to women and girls in STEM. Baratang was also chosen for the 2017 ITS Global Policy Fellowship in Brazil.
She has deepened her knowledge and understanding of technology ecosystems, and that also saw her managing CiTi’s Bandwidth Barn located in Khayelitsha. She has also worked closely with BlackBerry’s AppsLab in Cape Town and managed the City of Cape Town’s SmartCity content development strategy.