Juma challenged the gender technology gap in her home country, the Gambia and she leads by example, encouraging women throughout the Gambia to pursue careers in the technology industry. Juma studied hard to become a successful product engineer, committing herself to her academic career and valuing the significance of an education. She founded HackathonGirls, Banjul, where she mentors and supports young women in her community to overcome stereotypes and eventually achieve desired employment. The club teaches web literacy, basic IT skills, and programming languages to girls ages eight to eighteen. Beyond web education, the club unites girls in a safe space where they can freely collaborate, learn and share experiences.
Too often Juma witnesses young girls, who are skilled in math and science, lose hope as they prepare for interviews and professional positions. The Gambia has women in technology fields, but on average there are far fewer females than males, she notes. Right now, many girls in this field leave it because they think computer jobs are too difficult and they lose confidence at some point. So HackathonGirls is a platform to bring these girls together and encourage them to continue forward.
With more than 40 girls currently enrolled in the club, Juma is shifting the social stigma about gender and IT, one girl at a time.
Juma is also the regional coordinator for Mozilla clubs in the Gambia where she sees that she recruits more club captains in her community by mentoring and supporting them. As the Mozilla Representative in the Gambia too where she represents Mozilla in her country/region, builds on and supports existing/future local community efforts and programs, support and mentor future Mozilla Reps.
A product engineer at a software development company in The Gambia, she hopes to see more women fearlessly obtain careers in software engineering, but her ultimate ambition is to build a community that works together to empower and encourage more females into the field of technology and as a 25 under 25 awardee from the Internet Society, 2017. Juma envisions a future where her tech club members become future mentors to other girls, ensuring a strong, equitable role on the web for the next generation of women.