The world of technology is vast, dynamic, and constantly evolving. It takes grit, determination, and a passion for innovation to thrive in this field. And yet, there are still those who believe that women don’t have what it takes to succeed in technology. But we know better! Meet Palisha, Asmita, Ichhya and Riva; the incredible engineers at Gurzu who are proving the naysayers wrong every single day.
Asmita, an associate QA engineer, brings a meticulous eye for detail and a passion for quality assurance to software development projects.
Ichhya, a mobile developer with over two years of experience, has been instrumental in creating innovative mobile applications for our clients.
Riva, a senior Ruby on Rails developer with over four years of experience, is a true leader in our development team. Her extensive knowledge and experience in Ruby on Rails has been crucial in delivering successful projects for our clients.
These women have different stories to tell, and we are honored to be able to share them with you! On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we talked to these four women about their experience in the tech industry: the challenges and joys of being a woman in technology.
What did you dream of doing when you were a little girl?
Palisha: I dreamt of being a nurse.
Asmita: A Doctor.
Ichhya: Nothing in particular, but I was not exactly a nerd who had an interest in technology. I enjoyed learning different skills, I was a very creative kid. Still now, I enjoy the satisfaction I get from building something from scratch, which often happens in development projects.
Riva: I had fleeting dreams. I wanted to be a doctor one day, and a writer the other. But one thing was for sure, I always wanted to be someone who could inspire people.
What inspired you to pursue a career in technology? Were you ever told that technology is not a safe/inclusive space for women?
Palisha: My brother is an IOS developer and sister is a QA engineer. So, I had enough role models at my own home who inspired me to pursue this career. I personally did not hear about tech not being a safe and inclusive space for women. The opposite in fact, I was encouraged to study computer engineering and make a career in software development. But yeah, that is because my family was already warmed up to this career.
Asmita: I guess it was the technological advancement that my generation got to witness. I grew up seeing the development of technology, from flip phones to color TVs, to computers, to the internet. And I wanted to be a part of this fascinating world. Some people advised my parents to not let me study computer engineering, and rather encourage me to study something more ‘suitable for girls’, like life sciences. But my parents were super chill and encouraged me to make my own decision.
Ichhya: It was the thrill of making new things that inspired me to be a software developer. Yes, I repeatedly heard that technology and engineering is not a women’s skill. But as a learned person, I knew that it is not true, beliefs and gender norms like this stem from our education and our culture. On the contrary, I have found the tech industry to be welcoming and respectful. Any traditional assumptions that there are, I am determined to challenge them daily at my work.
Riva: Computers and the internet were new things when growing up. Subconsciously, that attracted me towards studying computer engineering. Yes, I used to hear that technology was not an inclusive space for women. But somehow, rather than being repulsed I wanted to take up this challenge.
Have you ever experienced any challenges unique to being a woman in this field?
Palisha: No, I have not faced any such challenges. So far, I have felt like I am getting equal priority and opportunity in both college and workplace.
Asmita: While in engineering college I could often feel the unconscious bias of peers and even educators. Somehow, I felt like the women were not appreciated enough despite their tech credibility. Can not remember any particular instance right now…but in a traditionally male dominated space like that, you could just feel such bias.
The good part is we always have something new to learn and empower other women like us. Also, women leaders and mentors are super helpful.
Ichhya: In my workspace, skills that are traditionally thought to be women skills - organization, resolving conflicts, educating, are valued. There is also no lack of women leadership here. So, women have enough opportunities to thrive. I have not experienced any particular challenges or bias as such.
Riva: I am lucky to say that my technical capabilities have never been judged by my gender.
At work or at study, have you ever had to deal with someone who was sexist or misogynistic?
Palisha: Luckily, never! But I have definitely heard many such stories from friends.
Asmita: Like I said before, though not outright, I could see and feel slight misogyny in such male dominated spaces. At work, my team has almost an equal man to women ratio; such behavior is not tolerated.
Ichhya: I remember one instance: at college we had a project where both girls and boys were put into a team. One person tried to resist that; he said it would be better if it was just boys doing a project. Guess that was misogynistic.
Riva: Not really.
What do you think organizations can do to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology?
Palisha: The strongest thing is to create a culture of building desire, insight and give equal opportunities. Also, creating a community for women in a workplace.
But the main problem is the lack of women choosing this field in the first place. During my college, there were very few female students in comparison to boys. Women leaders in tech should find a way to reach out to young girls and inspire them to take up a career in this field.
Asmita: Organizing formal mentorship programs for students as a CSR thing can be wonderful. Similarly, promoting work-life balance, and offering flexible schedules can help a lot.
Ichhya: Boot Camps run by women can be a good way of making sure girls have enough role models to admire; that way we can make them aware that tech is an option for them. Also, scholarships, more women in decision making roles, and more women lead businesses will be impactful.
Riva: Make it a safe place. Make women heard.
From a woman’s perspective, what do you have to say about Gurzu as a workplace?
Palisha: We get equal opportunities for personal and professional development here. I have felt a sense of belonging, valued and welcomed at Gurzu.
Asmita: Gurzu has amazing opportunities, and policies for women. I have met so many amazing women here.
Ichhya: I am happy that I started my career from Gurzu. I have enjoyed being under the guidance and mentorship of these amazing, beautiful leaders. Just observing them every day at work has been a learning experience. And I would love to see more women in the team, let’s have the party going!
Riva: Gurzu is a very inclusive organization. We also have many women friendly policies.
What do you see as the future of women in technology?
Palisha: I see more and more young women studying computer science and technology, and being involved in workshops, internships, traineeship programs. This makes me very hopeful for the bright future of women in technology.
Asmita: More and more women are pursuing degrees in tech- related fields. Organizations are working to support women in tech and provide them with resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
Ichhya: There is still a lot to do, but I hope we are going in the right direction!
Riva: When I observe our tech community, I can feel for sure that we will have many women leaders in the days to come.
What advice would you give to other women who are interested in pursuing a career in technology?
Palisha: I say making a career in technology is great if you have a passion and interest in this field. It is never too late to build a career here. My advice is to find a good mentor, learn continuously, be involved and try out your ideas.
Asmita: Sharpen your skills, work on your communication.
Ichhya: Be confident, speak your mind, focus on improving your craft, and enjoy the lifelong ride of learning.
Riva: You can have a great career in technology, don’t let impostor syndrome get to you.
One woman role-model that you admire the most?
Palisha: My own sister is my role model. She helps me become the person I want to be and inspires me to grow.
Asmita: Sony Tuladhar! She is a QA engineer at Gurzu and has been a fantastic mentor for me. I admire her unique perspectives, and her interpersonal skills.
Ichhya: Mira Rai (Nepali Trail Runner). She has such a humble and jolly personality. I admire her for wholeheartedly following her passion and being content with just that.
Riva: Michelle Obama
Anything else that you want to add?
Palisha: I have felt that if you perform your best, you will excel at tech, no matter what your gender is.
Ichhya: For those who are already in tech, keep up the great work! Fighting!
Gurzu is a software development company passionate about building software that solve real-life problems. Explore some of our awesome projects in our success stories.
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