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Women in Tech - In Conversation with girls.exe

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

Gender diversity in the workplace is something we all might have heard and read about. The gender bias faced during the recruitment, less wages for the same amount of work done, not being considered for promotions and what not.


While there are debates and discussions on this topic, there is one particular industry that is again male dominated but not given the due attention.There's still a long way to go in this particular industry. I am talking about the tech industry. (Well, you might have guessed it from the title but I had to create the curiosity)


According to Tech Statistics, there is a lack of women in Tech industry and the ones who are working are facing a lot of discrimination. It is this reason that many young girls do not choose to pursue STEM courses.(Kindly refer to the references for statistics)


It is great news that more women are now taking up the initiative and entering into the field with their Tech Entrepreneurship ventures. While Covid is a backforce for few, however work from home opportunity has been a positive experience for some.


Furthermore, there are many new initiatives coming up to inspire and encourage the young girls to take up STEM jobs and plan their career in this field. As more and more women join the community, they act as role models for the future generations, who can see tech roles as viable and attractive options. These would be very instrumental in breaking up the stereotypes and debunking the myths associated with the male dominated industry.


In conversation with Girls.exe, a women tech initiative

The WIBN Team got connected with one of the co-founders of girl’s.exe, Ms. Shiksha Sabharwal and asked about their experience in the field. Let's see what she has to say!


Girls.exe is an all women organisation cofounded by six passionate girls aimed to bridge the gender gap which exists in the technology sector.


Why did you initiate girls.exe?

If we look at the statistics from the 1990s and now, the technology sector is completely dominated by men, from the top leading positions to the workforce. This disparity is prevalent in various fields like data science, computer science, data scientists and all the STEM areas. It is this very reason why we organised girls.exe which organises workshops, events, hackathons that only focuses on women, thus encouraging and empowering; helping them make their space in the sector.


Shiksha mentioned this ratio by telling us how there are just 5-6 girls in her class out of a total of about 40. (She is a student of Bsc Electronics Hons. from Hansraj College, DU). She even mentioned taking part in a hackathon where there were just 10-15 girls among a total of about 150 participants.


Could you please elaborate on your personal experience that motivated you to take this initiative.

I was interning in an organisation in this sector itself. This was the first time I experienced the gender gap where I was the only girl among all the members (including both the seniors and the juniors). Thankfully, all of my mates were really supportive and never separated me from the crowd. However there was an instance where gender was unconsciously brought into the conversation. That was the moment I realised that gender disparity does exist, and is rooted deeper than I thought.


According to research, there are many other reasons which play a role in discouraging a girl to enter the tech field, please let us know about that.

Yes definitely,

We have seen women facing biases in their salary packages. Even though the awareness is nowadays increasing, there are societal norms and people in every part of the world due to which less women opt for leadership roles.

Even if we talk of developed nations like the US, out of a 51% women workforce only 20% is involved in the tech sector (that too only 5% being leadership roles). The main reasons include low level of comfortness, biases in packages and promotions.


Who is your inspiration in the Women in Technology sector?

My inspiration in the sector would be Grace Hoppers (She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first linkers). I am also inspired a lot by Falguni Nayar, founder of Nykaa. I am really motivated by these women who are taking up the initiative to come forward regardless of societal compliances.


Any advice for the young girls planning to pursue a career in the field?

The primary advice would be to keep finding, digging into the internet and look for opportunities to enhance your skills. Internships(even if unpaid), workshops, events and competitions help a lot for your skill enhancement. Just go for it and keep trying:)



References



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