I’m a software engineer, at Redfin, and a mom of two young children. I grew up in India and moved to the United States over ten years ago. Growing up I was lucky to be in an environment that didn’t differentiate between a girl and boy child, unlike large parts of India, and science and math were always fun thanks to my dad, who is a pilot.
I also went to an all girls engineering college in India, so I never knew of lack of women in tech. It’s only after I entered the professional world in the US, did I become aware of the issue of gender and race- based inequality. That motivated me to participate in forums where I can help bridge that gap. After I started to raise kids in a well-supported household, other issues that touched my heart were those related to violation of child rights, that is prevalent in developing countries. So I also try to make a difference there by volunteering for “Child Rights & You”.
WHY YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH IGNITE?
I got introduced to Ignite through a field trip that brought a bunch of high school girls to the Redfin office. The girls did small projects followed by a presentation. I was amazed by the potential these girls had and how the right guidance and support can really help steer them towards a successful career path. So I decided to volunteer at the Ignite 2018 Spring Gala to spread awareness about the program and I hope to continue doing that in future as well.
HOW HAS IGNITE INSPIRED YOU?
The instant gratification I got by looking at the wide eyed girls, their curiosity and their smiles at the workshops, motivated me to be connected with the cause. If the girls are willing to put in that extra effort to learn there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to take some time out to help them.
WHAT VALUE DOES IGNITE PROVIDE FOR GIRLS?
IGNITE brings the diversity in our future workforce by targeting the top of the funnel. Most of us work for equal opportunity employers but the same opportunities should be available early on in school. IGNITE helps drive these opportunities by building interest in STEM in young girls through panels and workshops.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE OUR WIDER COMMUNITY TO KNOW ABOUT IGNITE?
Many young girls are looking for mentors and role models and we should provide them that by volunteering to talk to them in their school and by hosting them at our workplaces. If you belong to an inclusive workplace like mine, you should definitely try to show the girls what that feels like. If giving time is hard you can always donate to help run more of these programs.