GDG Karachi organized Women Techmakers at the Nest I/O to celebrate women in technology. The program comprised of various tech and non-tech speaking sessions to equip the young women in technology and to give them an exposure to what is happening in the tech scene of Pakistan. The event was attended by famous industry professionals and various female students enrolled in engineering programs of Karachi with a burning passion for technology.
Women Techmakers is Google’s global program and brand for women in technology. It was founded within Google’s Developer Relations team and was spearheaded by Megan Smith, VP of Google[X]. Women Techmakers is now led by Women in Technology Advocate Natalie Villalobos and a global team of Googlers who are passionate about empowering women in technology through increased visibility, community, and resources.
The event kick started with an amazing session on “UI and Material Design” by Rumaisa Mughal, CEO of a creative startup Artboard. She shunned down skeumorphism and explained the audience how to add depth and place layers in apps to make it shine from the top. She also shed light on how to use layouts, imagery, animation and typography in your UI and briefed the audience on some general UI principles that Google has started to follow for its Material Design.
The design tech talk was followed by a Lightning Talk Session with two speakers: Faiza Yousuf, CEO of Outtabox and Gerjtan Van Laar, the Dutch entrepreneur in Karachi who is the founder of Grappetite & Royal Bakeries. Faiza Yousuf gave an enlightening session on “Taking the Lead” and how women can also make great leaders. She framed out a number of competencies to learn, emphasizing on a long term plan to arouse behaviors and actions that contribute towards a common good. According to her, to take a lead you need to have a strong ambition, mental discipline, and emotional maturity. After her, Gerjtan Van Laar took the stage and motivated women how they should never let men look down upon them and shared an amazing story of his wife who is working as a nurse.
In a light talk with the Google Student Ambassador, Anum Saadat Ali, we asked her what is the goal of Women Techmakers? She stated that it is highly beneficial for undergraduates and professional women alike to connect and collaborate to know what is happening in the tech industry of Pakistan and therefore Women Techmakers is aiming to provide them the constructive platform. She was content by the overwhelming response they got and the turn out at the event. We also asked the Manager of GDG Karachi, Faraz Baig that an event like this is apparently not sufficient for the whole year and to this he gave an insight to what GDG and GBG have achieved so far regarding women and gave a throwback to a recent workshop held by GBG only for women. He also stated that GDG’s main goal is to connect people with open source experts and celebrate diversity through collaboration.
The lunch and prayer break was followed by three enlightening and greatly diverse sessions by Salma Jaffri, Imran Moinuddin and Adil Moosajee. Salma Jaffri gave a session on “Freelance Opportunities for WIT” and impressed the young women with her story of how the CEO of Elance called her and how she assisted them in developing the Elance Mobilizing Program. She motivated the audience to opt for freelance opportunities and gave them tips and tricks on how to be the most favored freelancer. Her session was followed by an interesting tech talk on “What Big Data Isn’t?” by Imran Moinuddin who shunned down all the myths revolving around the concepts and use of big data in companies and organizations all over the world. The final session was given by Adil Moosajee, who designed the interior of the Nest I/O and is the leading man behind the clothing brand Ego. He talked about “Packaging You” and gave a non-tech and highly entertaining insight on how to groom yourself for a better job and payscale opportunities. Clad in shorts and a casual shirt, he stated that he no longer cares what people think of him but it is essential for you to create a lasting impression.
The event ended on a high note with a cake cutting ceremony which was graced by Jehan Ara, the big bird of the Nest I/O as they call her. In a lighter moment, she confessed that she is now being blamed for organizing a lot of women-centric sessions at the Nest I/O and applauded all women professionals for contributing in the field.
In 2015, Women Techmakers intends to expand into a global program that will increase the visibility, community, and resources for technical women in industry. Google strives to cultivate a wholly inclusive workplace around the globe. A key component of that vision is empowering women to pursue their dreams and build tools that change the world.