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Finalist No: 9 - Shaquilla Johnson - 27 Years
Representing: St. Kitts and Nevis
Occupation: Software Tester
Shaquilla Johnson is representing St Kitts and Nevis in Miss Caribbean UK. Born in London, to parents both from St Kitts and Nevis, she takes much pride in learning about, celebrating and sharing her heritage. Especially the rich history, the beauty and the close knit community feel across the country. And this pride has been strengthened through her participation in MCUK. Curious and courageous is how Shaquilla would describe herself and entering MCUK is the perfect personification of that. The world of pageants is something was curious to her, and so courageously entered herself! And since taking part, she has developed a new found self-confidence and an appreciation for what it means to be prepared for anything!
Day to day, she works in technical teams as a software tester- which ties into her MCUK platform.
Shaquilla’s platform is all about raising awareness for the need for representation in technology. Having worked in the sector since finishing her studies 4 years ago, she sees the need for better representation and more diverse faces in the rooms where the technologies that are changing the world are being created.
The technology that is changing the world often leaves the needs of various groups of people. And for black people and people of colour this could be as “small" as soap dispensers that do not recognise the hands of colour beneath them to large scale facial recognition software being deployed by governments that have racial bias built into it. Therefore, black people and various others groups of people including women must be a part of the equation that creates the solutions!
Shaquilla’s curiosity extends to her enjoyment of technology and she has created an Instagram filter to promote Miss Caribbean UK as well as allowing for users to connect with; and more importantly, be a Miss Caribbean UK winner too!
On receiving the title of Miss Caribbean UK, Shaquilla will use the title to spread awareness of the opportunity this sector harnesses. She will continue to support various non-profits that advocate for diversity across technology - and she has already done so through teaching, speaking and being visible as somebody who works in and understands the sector. And finally, Shaquilla wishes create a community of likeminded people from the Caribbean to share resources and opportunities within the Technology sector. This includes debunking myths about the barriers to entry as well as sharing educational resources. It would be her pleasure to show any person that may be intrigued by this world of technology and the opportunities within it, that there is a space for them.