Women coders in Bengaluru join hands to upgrade skills & fight biases

By Duchess Magazine


WWCode founding-chief executive Alaina Percival.

BENGALURU: Nonprofit ‘Women Who Code’ group, founded in San Francisco in 2011, has 50k members in 20 countries.

Shwetha Lakshman Rao, who works in US-based VMware’s research and develop ment unit here, is an old hand in the tech industry. She got a boost to wards the end of last year when she was selected to be a part of the ‘Women Who Code’ (WWCode) community and is now a city director of the Bengaluru chapter.
“In just a few months of becoming a part of the WWCode community, 


I learnt a lot in terms of technical and non-technical aspects Communicating with other mem bers at WWCode opened my eyes to ever-evolving tech trends and research subjects, which will help me explore and learn much more,” Rao said.

Empowering women like Rao in technology jobs is the core mission of WWCode, which was founded in 2011 in San Francisco.The nonprofit now has 50,000 members in 20 countries. “We realised the need for… a support group that helped (women in the technology industry) deal with gender diversity issues and be counted and seen at their workplace,” said WWCode founding-chief executive Alaina Percival. She was in Bengaluru for the formal inauguration of the city chapter that was formed in 2013 and has 737 members.”Bengaluru is a key city in the world for technology . Our vision for the team and network here is to lead and inspire other networks of WWCode across India,” Percival said.

A core issue the tech industry is grappling with worldwide is underrepresentation of women, Percival said. While Bengaluru-specific data weren’t available, in India, about 34% of the employees in the IT industry were women, according to industry estimates.

“There’s no big problem that pushes women out. But it’s the small things that repeatedly happen every day at workplaces which make them want to quit the industry,” Percival said. Stories about women being shouted down by their male bosses and colleagues not being gender-sensitive are not uncommon, she said.

It is this mindset that WWCode is trying to alter through its various events and outreach programmes.”We want (companies) to build lines of women power in their workplaces, assign mentors and highlight the successes of women,” Percival said.
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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