Pearl Hacks was first held in 2014 as one of the only beginner-friendly hackathons targeted towards women at the time. It was organized in response to the boom in college hackathons, where students got to spend a weekend bringing their technological ideas to life with the help of their peers and industry professionals.
But while those hackathons were great at immersing students into tech, it was clear that the gender gap and the often intimidating environment at those events was stopping a lot of women of all skill levels from signing up. The first Pearl Hacks, organized by UNC alumni Maegan Clawges, brought in 250 female highschool and college students in the hopes of providing them with a great hackathon experience that sidestepped these issues.
By growing and learning from the last eight years of Pearl Hacks (which has nearly tripled in size), we now strive to be an open and inclusive environment for gender minorities to experience hackathons, and hopefully dive deeper into the world of technology after experiencing a weekend with us.
First-timers are welcomed to join no matter their level of experience. All that awaits you is a weekend of meeting amazing people, learning about technology, and free swag and prizes. We hope you join us at this wonderful event!
Pearl Hacks is an event designed to uplift and center women and gender non-conforming individuals in tech. We expect all of our mentors, volunteers, participants, directors, sponsors, judges, and visitors to be respectful of our participants’ gender identities and expressions.