Changing the face of tech one girl at a time

Women make up just a third of professionals in the tech industry, but with the help of community coding groups conducting workshops and "boot camps", their numbers are rising.
Dr Ayesha Khanna (centre), founder of coding organisation 21C Girls, with the pioneer batch of 25 girls in the Empower programme which ended in February 2019.
Dr Ayesha Khanna (centre), founder of coding organisation 21C Girls, with the pioneer batch of 25 girls in the Empower programme which ended in February 2019.PHOTO: 21C GIRLS

Volunteering at a kids' hackathon at a community centre here six years ago, Dr Ayesha Khanna was given a visceral reminder of a deep-seated bias when it comes to women and tech.

"I was working with kids on a small electric robot and, at some point, the mother of one girl took her daughter away and replaced her with her son, saying he was better suited to the activity," said the co-founder and chief executive of artificial-intelligence (AI) firm Addo AI.

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