Women in Technology: Meet Nepal's techmaker geek girls
Women in technology is not merely a buzz today but it’s something flourishing as the need of the ultra modern and equivalent society. The increasing number of females in the information and technology (IT) area has proved for women in computing as a growing opportunity and challenge at the same time.
Recently, Google Developers Group GDG-Kathmandu organized a female techmakers interaction program on the context of international Women’s day to mark the presence of Nepalese women in technology (event details here). The domain full of male tech makers is now in rapid invasion by the female techies. Here is the article on the same by Nitya Pandey, covering, female techno nerds gearing up for the challenges within the virtual world.
Her slender fingers speedily tap away at the laptop keys. She converses fluently in highly technical jargons and acronyms that are incomprehensible to non-technical ears. She is up to date with all kinds of technological advancements in her field. She is an integral part of the Internet powered future of the present-day world. With panache and poise, she has begun to showcase her talents and expertise in a field that, for a long time, has been tagged as a man’s forte.
The present day global statistics may beg to differ but the history of technology has seen its fair share of women contributors in the past. In fact, Lady Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was considered the world’s first computer programmer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine in the nineteenth century. And there have been many other women too in the field of computing, coding, designing and programming.
Though largely outnumbered by their male counterparts over time, women have always been around, doing their jobs, silently and patiently. But many women today seem to have taken it upon themselves to break this silence and prove their niche in the world of technology.
“Women techmakers are promisingly growing in number. They are innovative and hard working. They are willing to learn, work and be heard,” says Ranjana Dangol, Android Developer at an Australian outsourcing company.
She shares that she has never felt any difference or discrimination in the amount or nature of work division between herself and her male coworkers. Her job description entails all those things that the men of her designation are supposed to do at her office.
Contrary to the popular belief that only men can be tech savvy, these days, many women are taking up technology as their field of career and research. The number of female techmakers, in the last few years, has been steadily increasing. Familial guidance and support, ease of access to Internet, free flow of information and increasing trend of modern cellphones seem to be the major catalysts behind these recent turn of developments.
Most women today are as aware of and addicted to technology as men are. However, despite this obvious wave of change in the interest and mindset, many women still suffer from insecurities and confidence issues regarding their aptitude.
“There are so many talented women working in technology field from home. They need to feel confident and comfortable enough to come out in the open and make the world aware of their capabilities,” says Manisha Karmacharya, a participant in a recently organized interaction program for women techmakers by the Google Developers Group in Nepal.
The whole idea behind the event was to get more women to share their knowledge and curiosity with the others in their field. Google, a global Internet community, is quite determined about increasing visibility, community, and resources for technical women in the industry. This way, they believe, women techmakers can be more empowered as they can secure a solid space and say in an area that has so far been considered a man’s forte.
“We appealed to many institutions that offer engineering and computer science courses to send in their female students to participate in the workshop, and if possible, give presentations at the event,” says Bhupal Sapkota, Community Manager of Google Developers Group in Kathmandu.
He further expresses satisfaction regarding the turnout of female participants, web designers and techmakers this time around which is remarkably more than the previous two years. Though they are still far less in number in comparison to their male colleagues and classmates, they are just as enthusiastic and competent.
One of the few female students of Geomatics Engineering, recently introduced by Kathmandu University for the first time in South Asia, Megha Shrestha is totally hooked to gadgets and computers. She has always been fascinated with technology and seems exuberant to be in the company of so many like minded people from her field whom she can closely connect to.
“I am currently working on a college project to develop an android application that locates specific places that you ask for just like Google Map does. I came here hoping that I would get some insights on that. But with so much sharing, interaction and networking going on, I feel like I’ve achieved more than I bargained for,” she smiles.
What was previously deemed a men’s domain is slowly yet surely being encroached and invaded by women. Most women techmakers believe that the upcoming years are going to be great for them in terms of career and growth opportunities. Internet, these days, has become the ultimate solution to every query and question and its users are increasing in all parts of the world. And with the world getting more attached to newer, better and faster technology with each passing day, they are of the opinion that there is plenty of work for everybody, irrespective of their gender.
As chief technical officer of an IT company, Rajesh Sharma reveals that most computer-based organizations around the world are always in search of fresh talents. Whether it is coding, designing or programming, the demand for skilled techmakers is at an all-time high. Particularly women, since they are already so less in number, have more chances of doing well and moving ahead in this field at present.
Whether it is designing educative websites for children, coming up with cool cell phone applications, or working with complex principles of coding and programming, women have started making their presence felt in the world of technology. Female techno nerds are getting geared up for the challenges that lie within the virtual screens right before them. And with more women putting on their geeky glasses and giving the men a run for their money in what was regarded as their realm, the world of technology surely appears to be waiting to witness some sort of transformation in the days to come.