Volunteers You Rock! Our GITSG appreciation and engagement event: Celebrating our priceless volunteers.

By Hayley Bakker

As our new co-Managing Director at Girls in Tech Singapore, Hayley is set on meeting our amazing community at as many occasions as possible. What better way to kick this off, than to host the very first, but certainly not the last, GITSG volunteer appreciation event – An opportunity for our valued volunteers to meet up and get inspired and to share our appreciation for all contributions throughout the year. She shares her takeaways from this event.

Having always worked in ‘for profit’ organisations, co-leading Girls in Tech in Singapore is definitely a new experience for me. One of the first questions I raised was how GITSG has been able to organise so many events with a board of just six members, who have taken on this role on top of their ‘day jobs’. At that point I was bombarded with names – ‘Ashley’ – ‘Sarah’ – ‘Vinny’ – etc. –  of so many fabulous individuals who help us out on a regular basis. Upon further research I was pleasantly surprised to discover a ‘Volunteer List’ containing over a hundred names. And an idea was born: to kick off with a volunteer appreciation and engagement event. I could not wait to meet all the lovely people on this list in real life!

To truly show our appreciation we kicked off the evening with some vino and finger-foods with an amazing rooftop view of the sunsetting over Singapore. Luckily I was able to speak to each and everyone of the arriving volunteers to hear their stories and understand ‘what makes them tick’. I met volunteers from so many diverse backgrounds, but all aligned behind one mission ‘to promote and support women in STEM reach their aspirations’!

Looking Back…

As part of the event we reflected on our 2018 past year events including nine GITSG events and five partner events with almost 400 unique community members joining us! We also took some time to high-light some of our shining stars amongst our volunteers. Three GITST certificates were awarded to some of our special contributors.

#OverAndAbove was awarded to James Campbell-Grant for his exceptional contribution to our GITSG Mentorship Program last year. As part of the six month program, James showed his dedication by attending and actively contributing to all workshops, networking events as well as his dedicated mentee meets.

#ConstantContributor was awarded, as a special thank you, to Anjuli Gopalakrishna for her diverse contributions to GITSG. Anjuli has been one of our writer contributors as well as a speaker at our events and we are excited to keep her on in the coming year.

#BiggestBroadcaster was awarded to one of our wonderful volunteer board member Lynette Pathy. Those of you who actively follow our Facebook page and the thread of relevant and inspiring articles that she curates and shares with our community on an (almost) daily basis. One of the many, too many to mention, things she does for GITSG!
 And did I mention their was a special cake: Strawberry, rose, with butterscotch vanilla frosting!

Looking ahead…

For the second part of our event, before the chatting, drinking and eating continued, we took the opportunity to share our plans for GITSG in 2019! The key idea here was to inspire our old and new volunteers to collaborate in the year ahead and gain ideas on how we can make these and other events a success.

“How about a fashion technology bootcamp where we help girls create clothes that respond to sound. The more excited the audience gets, the brighter the clothes light up.”

Safe to say, enough inspiration was firing at this point! And we are looking forward to turning these ideas and others into action for our community.

“As a starting freelancer I remember feeling so lost. I was constantly reinventing the wheel. If I could only tell younger self what I know now. We should provide starting freelancers with a starters toolkit!”

These are only a few of the invigorating stories I heard and people I met at our ‘Volunteers You Rock!” event. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with all of you to make an impact for our community of women in STEM in Singapore.


Check out our Event Calendar where we share out 2018 recap and will be actively updating our 2019 planned events. If you were not able to attend our event but are keen to contribute in some way or form this year, feel free to reach out!

About the author

Hayley is an engineer with a strong belief that girls and women can do and achieve everything that men can. Hayley has worked in M&A, Consulting and Banking industry. Currently she is an entrepreneur, setting up and managing technology teams for and with technology start-ups in Singapore. She is passionate to support aspiring entrepreneurs! Connect with her [email protected]

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