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SHE – IEEE KOCHI HUB WIE CONGRESS

Written by Ahemed Haneen

Date : 21 & 22 November, 2018

Venue : Government Model Engineering College, Thrikkakara.

No. of participants : 120+ participants

SHE (Style Her Enigma)  2018

The IEEE Kochi Hub Women In Engineering Congress, SHE 2018 was held on 21st and 22nd of December, 2018 at Government Model Engineering College, Thrikkakara. The event saw a participation of 120+ delegates from across the section, a vast majority of them being girls. This year, we had restructured the congress to better benefit the students by including effective programs like Industrial Visits and Peer-to-Peer learning sessions.

Day 1

Day 1 of the WiE Congress started with the inaugural ceremony which was held in the presence of Chief Guest Dr. M.R Santha Dev, Former DRDO Scientist. She talked about breaking stereotypes and the importance of giving exposure to girls these days. She told that with the right opportunities in right hands, our nation can do wonders.

The inaugural ceremony was followed by a talk by Ms. Mekha Thachankary, Co- Founder, Guardians of Dreams. She talked about creating a just society that provides equal opportunities for its children. She also went on to talk about how we need to do something that keeps us happy rather than something forced upon us.

This session was followed by a talk by Ms. Nikita Mallya, a Grace Hopper Scholar for the year 2018, hailing from Kerala, India. She talked about her experiences at the Grace Hopper Conference and also talked about various scholarship opportunities available to girl students these days and how to win them.

Nikita’s session brought on an energetic vibe among the delegates and it was carried forward in the talk by Ms. Liz Thomas, Asia Pacific Risk Analytics Services Lead at IBM. She talked about her own experiences in being a dedicated working professional hailing from an Orthodox Family and the obstacles she had to face in her career path. She also mentioned about the importance of striking a balance between work-life and personal life. This was a very interactive session and the delegates were very keen to listen to her answers to their questions.

The morning session of Day 1 of the congress wound up after that and the delegates parted for lunch. The afternoon session of Day 1 started with the Industrial Visits. The students were taken for Industrial Visits to namely two companies – TCS and IBS Software, Infopark, Kochi.

One ( TCS) was a service – based company and the other ( IBS Softwares ) was a product – based company. The attendees spent around 5 hours at the companies, getting to know the software industry today and the distinction between service-based and product-based companies. They were introduced to R&D projects undertaken at the companies and were allowed to interact with the project managers and innovation leads there. The companies gave a very positive feedback about the Industrial Visit and they highly appreciated this initiative and the interest of students taking part in this program. The students also found the visit to be very fruitful as it helped them clear a lot of misconceptions about the industry out there.

The students were brought back to the college wherein Ice Breaking and Entertainment sessions were arranged to promote networking among the attendees and to bring everyone out of their comfort zones.

Day 1 of the Congress ended with a networking dinner that followed after.

Day 2

The second day of the Congress started with a talk by Mr. Shahul Hameed, Young Professional, IEEE Kerala Section. He talked on the topic “Introduction to Internet Governance with a focus on IETF.” It was a very informative hour.

This was followed by two parallel tracks. One by Pehia Foundation and the other by TinkerHub.

Pehia Foundation is an organization actively working towards bridging gender gaps in developer roles. Pehia Foundation, in association with SHE 2018, organized a “Smartathon” , which was an initiative to bring out the technical interests of budding engineers. The delegates were given a series of tasks throughout the day to discover their technical interests and talents. It kept the delegates engaged throughout.

TinkerHub Foundation is a non profit initiative aimed at making use of 21st century technologies and learning methods to foster a fresh breed of highly skilled young people empowered with technical and social skills. TinkerHub Foundation, in association with SHE 2018, conducted LEA{r}N IN, a peer-to-peer learning program. The program began with a keynote address by women entrepreneur, Ms. Ruby Peethambaran from Fourthambit and progressed with a 2 hour hands-on workshop on 3 different topics. Namely, Data Analytics using Python, Creating Robotics with Arduino, and Building Web Applications.

After the workshop, there was a Cross-Teaching session among the delegates and then, it ended with a Panel Discussion by experts from Pehia and TinkerHub on “Technology Learning in Campuses.”

The main programs of the day came to a close with that.

The IEEE Kochi Hub Team for 2018 then took to the stage to talk about their activities of the year and how this was the last Hub event to be hosted by this team. The event ended on a positive note with feedbacks flying in for the restructured implementation of the WiE Congress.

About the author

Ahemed Haneen

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