By Aparna Gupta
Managing Director, FirstRain India
ABI.Local communities are self-organized groups that meet in person to grow and support current and aspiring women technologists. Our purpose is to inspire women to pursue and remain in technical fields, and provide the guidance they need to advance their careers in cities around the world.
The past few weeks have been intense but fun as I have had the opportunity to connect and engage with a highly enthusiastic and motivated set of women at AnitaB.org and at tech companies in the Delhi-NCR region to put together ABI’s inaugural networking reception event on 27 August, 2015. All details for the event can be found here.
As we approach the networking reception, I can’t help but reflect on ABI’s vision on the need for a local chapter in communities around the world.
So, what are some of the motivations to have a local chapter in India’s Northern Capital Region?
- Profiles of women in technology in different regions differ, so programs must be tailored differently for different geographical areas. For example, cities like New York and Mumbai, the business and financial hubs of their respective countries, may see a very different profile of women technologists compared to the Bay Area or Bangalore. Similarly, there may be a larger focus on entrepreneurship in one region compared to others.
- Better engagement with women technologists at every career stage, across industry, academia and government. Tailoring programs for different regions can enable deeper and broader outreach to women in computing. For instance, in many parts of India we need programs starting at the school and college levels to encourage girls to pursue STEM fields. This may even extend all the way to initiatives to drive change at the society level.
- Engage women technologists who can’t attend GHC India. The Grace Hopper Celebration India happens in Bangalore every year, which may be out of reach for some women technologists as they work to balance professional and personal responsibilities. Having regional programs in place helps connect technologists at a local level so they can benefit from networking with a community right in their home town.
- Diversify the source of women technologists in the AnitaB.org community. Local communities can serve as a good base to pilot new programs to enhance and diversify all the programs that AnitaB.org strives to expand in order to drive the overall vision and mission of recruiting, retaining and advancing women in computer science roles.
To summarize, I believe ABI.Local is a great initiative, and we’re excited to launch ABI.Delhi-NCR as the second global community. I’m confident that it will serve as a great example to replicate this program, not just in other cities of India, but the entire world.