Empowering Women in IT (eWIT), a voluntary, not-for-profit women’s forum conceptualized by a group of IT Professionals in India conducted its first ever eWIT Students’ Convention 2013 on 6th September at the TAG Auditorium in Anna University, Guindy, Chennai.
The event themed as “Tomorrow is (Y)ours” drew over 300 women students from various colleges in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. The full day event enthused the participants with various activities such as Poster Competition, Paper presentation, panel discussions, etc.
This is the first time in India where a professional forum such as eWIT is organizing a convention for students, that too for women students, who are aspiring to enter into IT/ITES industry upon graduation. Statistics show that while at the entry level the percentage of women employees in the IT/ITES is nearly 50%, reduces drastically to less than 10% at junior management level.
Kalyani Narayanan, President – eWIT and CEO, Easy Insurance India said “eWIT, by far is the only forum in India that actively works towards helping women working in the IT/ITES industry. Recently, our focus on enlisting women students by visiting academic institutions across Tamil Nadu has given a wider scope for us to reach the women students who aspire to enter the IT/ITES sector after graduation. The overwhelming response from various colleges has been very encouraging. Having seen the huge response from the student community, we plan to organize such events regularly aimed towards helping women students to equip themselves for a successful career in IT/ITES.”
The objective of the convention was to bring about a shift in the mindset of women students to think differently about, what career in IT/ITES should mean to them? The whole day activities of the convention were therefore focused towards imbibing a positive career approach in the IT/ITES sector among women. The students asked various questions related to IT/ITES industry to a panel of women working in various IT/ITES companies and got their answers first hand.
This convention was one of the initiatives of eWIT to empower women students to understand what it takes, as an IT/ITES professional, to sustain and succeed in the industry. Apparently, eWIT is the only forum in India that works exclusively towards empowering the women IT/ITES professionals in the form of workshops, networking events, panel discussions, etc. with the purpose of providing guidance and inspiration to them in addition to imparting knowledge on various aspects to succeed in the industry.
Mr. Ramaraj, Senior Advisor at Sequoia Capital delivered the keynote address followed by a panel discussion on the theme of the day “Tomorrow is (Y)Ours” involving Industry stalwarts representing large corporate such as HCL, TCS, Deloitte shared their thoughts with the audience giving an in depth perspective of the sector.
Ramaraj in his inaugural speech highlighted 3Cs to success – Consistency of purpose (set a goal for yourself), Curiosity to learn – be ahead of the curve and Cooperation – teamwork. He also emphasized students that they should “work with initiatives and not for incentives”.
Panel comprising of Ms.Parvati Karthik, HR, TCS, Mr.Shivram – Director, Deloitte Human Capital Services and Ms. Srimathi Shivashankar – Associate VP – Diversity & Sustainability, HCL emphasized that women should break the barrier to reach the top.
After the thought provoking speeches, prizes were given to the winners of the paper presentation contest & poster competitions at the valedictory function. Winners of the paper presentation contest conducted on the theme “ICT trends 2020” are as follows:
Divya Ravichandran, S.Nagammai & K.Nithya Devi from Tejaa Shakthi Institute of Technology for Women, Coimbatore bagged the first prize, R. Sujatha & P. Nivetha of SNS College of Technology, Coimbatore took the second spot and Bharathi Swetha representing Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy received the third prize.
Preethika & Priya darshini from Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai clinched the first prize in the poster competition conducted on the theme “Gadgets for communication in 2012”, followed by Nagammai & Nithya Devi from Tejaa Shakthi Institute of Technology for Women, Coimbatore took the second prize & the special mention for the efforts taken by Yugeeshwari & Blessy Roy of Tejaa Shakthi Institute of Technology for Women, Coimbatore.
The day has turned to be the most memorable & fun filled moment for the participants and many of them felt that they look forward for many such events in future that are informative & interesting.