Sisters of Code - a non-profit educational program has received the prestigious international award in the EQUALS in TECH Award 2020 for the organization and successful development of the first programming club for girls in Cambodia. Among 360 submitted projects from around the world, this educational program was highly praised by the jury from UN Women, UN Information Technology Unit, GSMA, United Nations University and International Trade Center.
In 2019, IT Academy STEP Cambodia founded the Sisters of Code programming club for girls aged 10 to 20 in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Education. Sisters of Code established a partnership with international organizations and embassies and was able to deliver coding lessons to the girls free of charge. This is especially important as Cambodia has one of the lowest interest in programming among female students in the world. Only 7% of female students choose technical specialties and only 30% of graduates continue to work in the IT field. There is a widespread stereotype in the society that only boys can learn programming and computers. In order to address this perception and challenge existing stereotypes, Sisters of Code club was established. In just a year, 150 female students have successfully completed the training course and many graduates have decided to continue their education in the field of IT.
The international competition EQUALS in TECH Award was created in 2017 with the aim to support the most successful initiatives that contribute to the integration of girls and women in the IT industry, including educational programs and scientific research.
The received award is already the second international award given by the IT Academy STEP Cambodia for the educational project Sisters of Code. In October 2020, this project was recognized as one of the best in the international SOLVE MIT competition held by the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technologies. This competition received over 2,600 entries from 135 countries in 6 different categories. Sisters of Code female coding club from Cambodia has become one of the top 7 in the category "Learning for Girls and Women".