By Umay Salma
WIE IEEE SEECS collaborated with GDG Islamabad and Google at NUST to celebrate women presence in STEM field and to showcase the work of women leaders in tech industry. This was done by providing a platform to celebrate their talents. WomenTech makers aims to raise visibility of innovative women leaders in technology and inspire others to join the field. The Google Business Manager, Saad Hamid, started off the event by sharing the Google Mission behind launching the series of WomenTech Makers events.
He shared a set of six photos of Pakistani Women tech-Makers, and to everyone’s surprise, not half the audience knew their names, let alone their achievements. For the knowledge of readers, these women were: Kalsoom Lakhani, Sheeba Najam, Maria Umer, Salma Jafri, Sidra Qasim, Jehan Aara.
He said that the aim of this sitting was to bring the audience to conversation with the speakers and Google Ambassadors.
Anam Zahid: “My Experiences in the Tech World”
Anam Zahid is a final year student at SEECS, a Google student Ambassador and recipient of Anita Borg Scholarship. She shared her “experiences in tech world” by starting her story right after she was done with her F.Sc and had confusions all around her. She had to take the decision of her life-“what field to go into”. She envied the people who have this one interest in some particular field right from the start, who always know what they want to do and where they want to go. Unfortunately, as she told, she didn’t belong to that class. She was that ‘indecisive’ girl, like many others. Now, what these girls do is let someone else take the decisions for them, or they let the situation resolve for them. Anam decided to do neither. She, rather, decided to take a decision herself and live that decision and face the consequences with the contentment that it was ‘her’ decision.
Coming to an engineering school, she faced the stereotypes of “Girls-not-good-in-Programing”, and that too right from the mouth of a programming professor in her first programming class. These words hit her. But she let her positive approach guide her. It was upon her to believe in those stereotypes or not. It was upon her to stay confined or to go beyond those limits. “Why can’t I?” became the motivation and so started her journey uphill.
However, what she has constantly seen around her is girls underestimating themselves. She made the point that so much pessimism is going to be thrown upon us anyways, so why should we be doing this to ourselves. “Believe in yourself!”
Maryam Kausar: “Why Ph.D. is fun?”
Ms. Maryam Kausar is a lecturer at Muhammad Ai Jinnah University and is doing her Ph.d from University of Salford. Her research area is Software engineering where she is working to design a new software methodology for offshore development. She is also a member of Project Management Institute.
If I could describe Maryam’s talk is one sentence, it would be “Ph.D. is you”. It is about your creativity, your discovery, your novelty and your experimentation.
Ph.D. is a piece of paper that allows you to work and contribute in the area of your interest. It is the first step to the world of experimentation and contribution to knowledge. Ph.D. is much different form Bachelors and Masters. You might do a Bachelors because you have to do it for a job. You might do a Masters because you have to do it for a better job. But, you go for a Ph.D. because you have a problem in your head. You see a thing and say “I wish it was done the other way” and then you try doing that thing the other way.
To do a Ph.D.:
- Find your area of interest.
- Look for universities that have their research group.
- Develop your idea that how you can contribute to that research group.
- Write your research proposal
- Find your supervisor
- Publish your findings.
You see a problem, think of a solution, implement that solution, and that’s how you complete your Ph.D. And don’t forget to make your supervisor happy!
Madiha Hassan: “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking”
Madiha Hassan is a UI designer, co-founder of Pakistan’s first carpooling network ‘Savaree’ and winner of Lahore Civic Hackathon.
Madiha Hassan’s life journey started from a remote village of Punjab. She studied Biotechnology from Govt. College University. It was her sixth semester when she finally concluded that biotechnology was not her thing and that was when she was developing her inclination towards graphic designing. Through many online courses and tutorials she learnt photoshop. She participated in various competitions. In a course on edX, her project was shortlisted as one of the best projects. She also realized that her approach towards things shouldn’t be casual, rather, she should give her cent percent towards things she really wanted to do. Her leap from Biotechnology to UI designing opened new doors of success for her.
“Now, startups are risky”, she said, “But I suggest you to imagine the worst case scenario. If you can handle it, you can handle anything. So, go for it.”