Finding Your Tribe: Indian Women in Computing

Indian Women in Computing (IWIC) was born from a deep desire to connect a community of like-minded women. Neetu Jain, one of the co-founders, shares how, “we felt just like Systers community, Indian women in computing will help its members find their tribe where members can guide and support each other as well as find a safe place to share their stories.”

At GHC16, Neetu teamed up with Rose Robinson to host “Asian & Indian Women in Technical Roles.” That event provided the foundation for getting the Affinity Group off the ground. In 2018 IWIC invited Khushali Desai to join their leadership team as a co-chair, to bring in fresh ideas and a new energy to the group. Khushali’s dedication and hard work along with Neetu’s strategic planning has helped IWIC build a strong team of enthusiastic volunteers who share IWIC’s vision. They share a passion to make a lasting impact on Indian women in computing all over the world. IWIC’s volunteers have worked diligently on ramping up their member base by providing valuable programs and events, which have been very well received by IWIC members (especially the remote events during these difficult times).

IWIC volunteers have demonstrated strong leadership skills by launching new initiatives and working collaboratively to make them successful. (You can find more about them on LinkedIn and Facebook.)

Khushali and Neetu have worked with other affinity groups (such as Pakistani Women in Computing, Nepali women in computing and Iranian women in Computing to name a few) and past GHC Co-Chairs to deepen community engagement.  Together with complementary skills and enthusiastic and passionate volunteers they are driving toward their mission to “create a tribe for indian women in computing and tech where they can support each other, learn from each other and really find a place where they truly belong.”

Neetu and Khushali share how being a part of this group fosters a sense of belonging and purpose. There is power in sharing stories and connecting with others.

Khushali shares how especially after Covid lockdowns these community interactions became even more important.

“Our calls every week inspired us to do amazing things together, and we really started bonding. None of us had any experience with what we were doing, creating logos or social media strategy or anything. All we had was sincere support from one another to move forward and zest to learn.”

“Just a few days back we were in a Zoom call where volunteers were sharing the reasons why they want to volunteer for IWIC and I was able to resonate with every single story shared.”

That energy motivated the creation of several new programs, such as vGHC Prep Series, Remote Mastermind Mentoring program, Spotlight Series and other Career Development initiatives. It is promising to see that during these somewhat isolating times, this group is coming together to uplift and celebrate each other.

‘We are also organizing a Virtual Graduation Ceremony for women who graduated recently and were not able to do their grad walk in late August.”

Coming together as a community in this way highlights the potential of the group, how certain members face unfair circumstances and how collectively they can make a dent and give back. Neetu acknowledges how, “we all want to offer a helping hand…especially to those who are in situations that we struggled through just a few years ago.”

Khushali believes that, “By empowering others I felt empowered.” She shares her own experience of how she overcame low self-confidence by volunteering. “My tech journey started later, and I experienced some problems at work, and it was at that time my involvement with such organizations came to my rescue and empowered me.”

She realized the challenges she was overcoming were common amongst many women at work.

“I want to bring that bond and support system to Indian Women via IWiC. Thus, we want to empower women, support them and spark conversations.”

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