Crack the gender code

Updated: Jul 23, 2019, 13:03 IST | Snigdha Hasan

At its inaugural event, the Mumbai chapter of a global form that inspires women to excel in tech will take the first step to building a community in the city

Crack the gender code
Megha Gupta, Preeti Wadhwani, Sahiba Chopra, Akanksha Vyas, Shaina Patel

The skewed male-female ratio in STEM fields is phenomenon scholars and policymakers have been grappling with since the Age of Enlightenment. But for women who do the study to become engineers, scientists and mathematicians, overcoming this gender gap is a segue to another set of challenges including wage difference and an even more skewed ratio in leadership roles. It was with this idea of wanting to change the industry experience for women engineers that a handful of technologists got together to form Women Who Code (WWC) in 2011. The community has since gone on to become a global non-profit, working towards supporting women to excel in technology careers across 20 countries.

Its Mumbai chapter — the fifth in India after Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad — will launch this week with an event that will familiarise women in tech with the concept behind WWC, with an aim to build a community in the city.

Aatika Khan are directors of the Mumbai chapter
Aatika Khan are directors of the Mumbai chapter

"The idea is to encourage women who are already in tech careers to get into leadership roles, as there are such few role models in those positions. And it makes a huge difference when you see other women in such roles. With many start-ups coming up in Mumbai, things are really building upon the tech scene here," explains Megha Gupta, one of the directors of Women Who Code Mumbai. A PhD in computer science, she did her BTech in electrical engineering from IIT Bombay, and now runs an education venture where one of the focus areas is to develop logical thinking in kids by exposing them to coding.

Apart from an open discussion, the event includes talks on bringing women back in the workforce, and how algorithms shape our day-to-day lives. "We plan to organise events every month that will gradually become more targeted, and facilitate technical talks, study groups and hack nights, where a group of women can figure out a project to work on together," informs Gupta, adding that the members will also have access to curated online technical resources and opportunities to speak at global conferences.

On July 27, 10.30 am
At office, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel.

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