Girls in AI Hackathon

Published on 08/04/2021

Taking action to promote and encourage women in Artificial Intelligence professions

To celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March, Societe Generale sponsored #GirlsinAI: a 100% digital hackathon from 6-13 March organised by Teens in AI in more than 25 countries for young people, especially girls, aged 12-18.

Today only 15% of Data Scientists in the world are women, which is detrimental to the development of an inclusive and bias-free AI. This gives full meaning to the initiative that aims to demystify AI and encourage young women to go into this profession.

The topics of the challenge were directly linked to two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): promoting gender equality and reducing inequalities. Participants had to propose solutions based on AI by following an approach that goes from ideation to development to design, and then they pitched in front of a jury. They were supported throughout this process by Societe Generale and Accenture mentors, experts in design thinking, data science, ethics and project management.

In addition to working in teams and with the mentors, the hackathon had a dynamic programme full of keynotes, round tables, design thinking workshops, pitches, and intro to Python classes led by professionals.

From Societe Generale, Marion Cabrol, Senior Data scientist for wholesale activities, participated in a round table on “Tech careers and Women in Tech” and shared her background, experience, and advice. Lorraine Nyembi Benjenj, Senior Data Scientist for the General Inspection and Internal Audit, gave an educational keynote speech on “what AI is, and what it is not”. Both of them were an inspiration and role models for the young participants.

To wrap up the #GirlsinAI France hackathon and select the project to be presented in front of the participating countries, a Demo Day was organised on 19 March. Claire Calmejane, Group Chief Innovation Officer, took part as a jury member. For her “The quality and maturity of the projects presented is proof that this hackathon was a real accelerator and an opportunity to inspire this next generation of professionals, researchers and entrepreneurs to take an ethical approach to AI.”

The feedback from the 13 Societe Generale mentors was unanimous: it was a rewarding and exciting experience, and many of them are ready to do it again!

“The organisation, tools and communication were great. The organisation was really reactive, and they were able to answer all the mentors’ and participants’ questions.Céline THIAM, Societe Generale Senegal

A great experience. It is amazing to see such motivated children, so interested in the world around them. I was happy to take part in this event.” Salomé AMAR, Global Markets, Societe Generale

“A very beautiful and meaningful adventure, and an experience where collectiveness is at the heart of the project. I was delighted to support my team of young people with expert mentors who were very invested!” Zainaba EL KHALD, Innovation Division, Societe Generale

“I was looking for this type of experience and the impact far exceeded my expectations (in particular supporting my associative commitments).” Corinne DEVOT, Global Transaction & Payment Services, Societe Generale

I am always pleasantly surpised by the power and efficiency of collective intelligence.” Alexandre BEAUMONT, Societe Generale Singapore


Discover the projects that were presented during the Demo Day.

In addition, listen to the Teens in AI podcast with Claire Calmejane, Societe Generale group Chief Innovation Officer.