How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I’m the founder of The Codette Project, which wants to get more minority/Muslim women into technology. We run workshops, panels and events to provide more access and opportunity to minority/Muslim women, as well as create online content around this.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2018?

We ran the first-ever women-only hackathon in Singapore on July 14-15 2018! We had a very diverse group of participants: half of the attendees were minority women, the age range was between 9-45, more than half had no tech background, and over 70% had never been to a hackathon.

It was amazing to see these women come together collaboratively and create solutions for real-world issues, including solutions for the aging and the differently abled.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2018, what would it be?

Just try. I didn’t think that there was any chance of me getting into the first-ever Facebook Community Leadership Programme, but the programme sounded interesting, so I applied anyway. And I got in, and had the chance to meet amazing change-makers and community leaders from all over the world. I’ll be working with Facebook throughout 2019, and it’s been an incredible process.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2019?

I’m very interested in seeing how AR and VR technologies will be used, especially for community building, and if there will be interesting, low-cost ways to create AR and VR environments that will make this technology more accessible for all.

What are your priorities for 2019?

The Codette Project is trying to create a better ecosystem around success, and this includes online communities as well as offline classes and events. We really want to create more video and infographic content as well as do more engagement and interaction with minority/Muslim women from all over the world.

What is one skill that has helped you the most throughout the course of your career?

Being willing to learn how to do things. A lot of people have big ideas but aren’t willing to learn the details of how to execute them. I was the only person in The Codette Project for the first six months, and it really taught me the value of being willing to do what was necessary to create the change you want to create.

What advancements do you predict will happen in your field in the next ten years?

In the next ten years, diversity and inclusion will not be seen as the ‘soft’ part of any industry, but a hard skill that every successful company needs to master in order to be resilient, adaptive and build genuine customer connections.

Coffee, yoga, music… what powers you through your day?

Being able to go home to people who love me really helps, because it’s something to look forward to even on the worst days.