At the WomenTech Network, we’re fortunate to have a wonderful, global community of ambassadors who help us spread the word about our work and who helped us make the WomenTech Global Conference 2020 a success and continue helping us on or mission to unite women in tech. We would like you to meet these wonderful people as well; therefore, we’re going to be introducing you to some of our most active members.
Today, get to know Smita Gupta:
Smita Gupta is from Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India. Her love for programming and computer science started in 2009, when she was assigned a task to develop a basic website for her school's garden. She had no prior exposure to programming back then. In a span of 10 days, she learnt HTML from scratch and was able to set up an elementary website. Her teacher liked the website a lot and congratulated her in front of her entire classroom. It was that particular moment when she realized that solving real-life problems gave her a sense of ecstasy and contentment which further fueled her curious mind to traverse the world of computers.
It was natural for her to choose Computer Science Engineering as her undergraduate major. Smita pursued her Bachelor’s in computer science engineering from Rajasthan Technical University, Kota to build a computer science foundation. After graduation, she worked at IBM India Pvt Ltd as an Application Developer. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Computer Science at University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Smita is enhancing her knowledge in the field of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and would like to work in these fields.
I think the biggest challenge in the Tech Industry is innovation. With this, the existing resources are not well skilled for the new coming technologies. Industry has to spend a fortune on training and developing these resources as per the new technology requirements. Also, hiring the right person is also a big challenge faced by the tech industry.
In Smita's Own Words:
Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
Women are under-represented in the tech sector. Not only that, but they’re underpaid, often passed for promotions and faced with everyday sexism. It’s no wonder women are more likely to leave the industry within a year compared to their male counterparts.
To dissect the problem, we need to look at early development. In high school, girls achieve better grades than boys. Yet for females who do pursue computer science at the university level, they find themselves being outnumbered by males, 82% versus 17%, one of the highest gender disparities in course subjects. And this imbalance isn’t helped by the downward trend of females taking up science, mathematics and computing courses. A possible reason for why more girls don’t pursue mathematics and science-related degrees is due to the ‘pinkification’ of girls in early age. Be it toys, clothes or job possibilities, things are still marketed towards gender, despite recent developments in breaking this historic trend.
What can companies do to increase the number of women in technology?
In my opinion, all that is needed is Encouragement. Now we can encourage women in hundreds of ways. It can be hiring more women while proposing equal pay. It can be a little act of believing in them but with a welcoming smile. It can be making them believe that they are no lesser than anyone by pushing their limits and still standing with them. They can also encourage more female role models who can mentor and inspire other females. All they need is encouragement and the feeling of inclusivity, rest assured they can conquer the world on their own!
Can women have kids and a tech career?
Women can definitely have kids and a tech career. In fact, women have got excellent management abilities. Nobody can manage multiple things simultaneously as compared to women. All they need is support and respect from their loved ones and their colleagues.
Meet more of our most active Global Ambassadors here or become a Global Ambassador by becoming part of WomenTech Network. As a Global Ambassador you can help us spread the word about the upcoming WomenTech Global Awards 2020, so we can celebrate women in tech, minorities in tech and their allies.