Session 20: Real life role models and coding superpowers!

Jo Hannaford

Jo Hannaford, Partner and Head of the EMEA Technology Division and global head of Quality Assurance Engineering at Goldman Sachs, along with her husband Jon, paid a visit to the Go_Girls and shared stories about her journey from being a student who regularly skipped school to becoming one of the most accomplished female programmers in Europe. She shared how the sudden death of her father, which left her mother without a source of income, prompted her to become serious about education and pursuing a career. She faced resistance and encountered those who doubted her ability to become a software engineer, a profession dominated by men. However, she did not allow the negative messages of others to stop her from reaching her goal.

Some of the Go_Girls shared their experiences of interviewing for jobs and not getting a call back and Jo responded by talking about the importance of being persistent and utilizing one’s network to find employment. She also encouraged the girls to have a variety of work experiences and to choose an occupation that they really love. Jo’s talk was a source of inspiration for the young women as well as the Go_Girl staff members!

After the visit, several of the girls reflected on the aspects of the talk that stood out most for them. Some of the enduring messages for the girls were:

“Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you love.”  “Be persistent and knock on thousands of doors and one will open.”  “Jo’s story demonstrates that you can achieve no matter where you come from.”

Jo’s talk was very impactful!  She is a real life role model for the young women and we look forward to her next visit!

During the second half of the session, the young women celebrated Computer Science Education Week by participating in the Hour of Code. They completed a fun Scratch-based exercise related to the Wonder Woman movie and each of the young women received an Hour of Code certificate of completion.

It was a fantastic session!

Coding is my superpower


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