Anisah Osman Britton, a Cliftonville resident, has been appointed an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to diversity in the technology sector in the King’s New Year’s Honors List.
The 29-year-old, who moved to the island with her grandmother, parents and two sisters in December 2021, is the founder of 23 Code Street, an innovative coding school for women and non-binary people that, for every student who pays, teaches digital skills to a woman in the slums of India.
Anisah started 23 Code Street seven years ago this January, when she was just 23 years old.
23 Code Street has partnered with NGOs to train disadvantaged and marginalized women in Street Mumbai.
The goal is to provide women with digital skills that put them in a position to earn more and build solutions to the problems they see on their doorstep.
Anisah said: “For every person trained in the UK, we train a girl in the slums in digital skills.
“When the pandemic hit, we went from face-to-face courses to moving completely remote, but it has been a good experience.”
Anisah said she was driven to set up the school after working in tech revealed a lack of women in the industry.
She said: “When I was 19 years old I had my own company and then I worked in an accelerator in the city. I’ve always worked with men, so this (23 Code Street) was a way to change the face of the industry.”
Anisah was born in London and the family later moved to Spain when she was three years old. At the age of 11, she moved to India before returning to the UK, where Anisah obtained her GCSE and International Baccalaureate.
However, he then refused to take the college route, instead interning at companies around the world before returning and establishing PocketMUni.com, which connected students with people who needed odd jobs.
This was the beginning of Anisah’s coding journey. She later worked for The Bakery, learning about startups and web development.
This ignited a passion to see better representation in the tech industry and led to 23 Code Street, which was endorsed by The Bakery founder Tom Salmon.
Anisah said: “I see this as a creative career rather than a scientific one. People make it sound very complicated and mathematical, saying that girls don’t do math or computer science.
“This is how we change that. The starting point is to give access to people. It leads to opportunities to create solutions to problems, the ability to sit down at the board table and say ‘this could be solved this way’.
The 12-week course aims to give people the skills to then continue their learning, whether they want to pursue web development or another route entirely.
In India, courses start with basic digital skills to give girls access to data entry jobs.
Anisah, who also co-writes Startup Life for Sifted, a Financial Times-backed European tech news company, said of the MBE: “Receiving the honor has given me a moment to reflect on and celebrate all the work I’ve done over the past decade. .
“It is a pleasant surprise. I hope receiving this recognition highlights how important it is that our technology workforce reflect the diverse society we live in so that we have innovation that works for everyone.”
Anisah says the family’s move to Thanet was motivated by a desire to live by the sea once more.
She said: “Who wants to live in the city when you can live on the beach? I grew up by the sea in Spain and India and I also love the scene in Margate, I like the energy that reminds me of what London was like in 2012 (host of the Olympics). I love Cliftonville and all the things that open up around the Northdown Road, cafes, galleries, vintage shops, and Walpole Bay is my favorite place. I like that the immigrant community continues to exist and have people who are generating new spaces.”
The 2023 New Year Honors List marks the incredible public service of people across the UK.
Of the 1,107 main shortlist recipients of an award, 955 candidates have been selected at the BEM, MBE and OBE level: 305 at BEM, 431 at MBE and 219 at OBE.
Some 673 (60%) of the beneficiaries are individuals who are recognized primarily for their outstanding work in their communities, either as volunteers or charitable;