Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley congratulates the Deighton Griffith team of Destiny Howell, Kayla Aboab, Emily Chow and Ashante Bowens, winners of the Caribbean Girls Hack competition at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Saturday. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has underscored the importance of team work, saying such collaboration was necessary in life.

Ms. Mottley made the comments on Saturday night as she briefly addressed the girls who participated in the Caribbean Girls Hack – 2019 Barbados Summer Hackathon and interactive Tech Expo, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, as part of the AnimeKon Expo.

The Prime Minister told the teenagers: “The biggest lesson from today’s exercise is how to work in partnership and together with each other…. I can assure you, whatever the problems are, whether they are gender-based violence or climate change or whatever the goals are in terms of where you want to go, you are going to need to work in partnership with others.

“It is the one thing that you don’t teach in schools; it is the one thing we don’t reinforce, the need for people to collaborate and…build on the platforms of each other.”

Deighton Griffith Secondary School won the Barbados leg, while The St. Michael School placed second, and a combined team of students from Springer Memorial School and The Ellerslie School, under the name Mixed Bag of Wonderful, came third. 

The Hackathon, which was part of the International Girls in ICT Day programme of the International Telecommunications Union, was organized by SheLeadsIT co-founders, Bridget Lewis and Nicole Pitter Patterson. 

It encouraged and empowered young women to pursue studies and careers in ICT, to fill the gender gap for females in the technology sector.

Ms. Mottley told the girls that the skills they acquired and tools they used were needed to assist them in taking on and improving the world.

Barbados was the final leg of the Hackathon, which took place in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Grenada. 

It was held in collaboration with Caribbean regional technology partner, Restore a Sense of I Can Tech Clubs, with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Other sponsor included Scotiabank, CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, Loop News and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The girls were drawn from schools across the island, and were part of a wider global initiative created to fill the gender gap for females in the technology sector.

Across the Caribbean, girls engaged in a two-month immersive webinar-based training, involving activities with international and regional tech mentors and other subject matter experts, to creatively problem-solve around the 2019 programme’s two core themes – Gender Based Violence and Climate Change and Resilience.

Using various technology tools in mobile app building, coding, web design, gaming and animation, the girls worked under a ticking clock to refine their solutions, which they pitched to a panel of judges.

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