GirlScript Is Supporting Women in Technology

#mozsprint 2017 Interview Series

Anubha (@anubhamane) is a final year engineering student in India. Inspired by Women Techmakers, she started GirlScript to support women in technology, particularly in her home country. A longtime Mozillian, Anubha brought her project — and her enthusiasm — to Mozilla Open Leaders. It’s been a pleasure watching her build this program openly.

I interviewed Anubha to learn more about GirlScript and how you can help June 1–2 at #mozsprint.

What is GirlScript?

GirlScript is a non-profit project to support women in technology. We do it by imparting skills online and offline. We are still preparing the online curriculum, however, offline trainings and workshops have already started in 3 cities of India (Nagpur, Bhopal and Ahmedabad).

Why did you start GirlScript?

Being a final year student of Computer Engineering, I have found many problems in the current system and these reasons led to the development of GirlScript:

  1. Opportunities: The opportunities available in the outside world were limited to few women in India. Only a small group of people were making use of those opportunities. I wanted to reach women living in tier-two and tier-three cities.
  2. Projects: It is a tradition in India that all Engineering Students or students who are pursuing any course related to IT or CS never write their own projects. Instead, they buy completed projects from sellers who often target women.
  3. Lack of Skills: College teaches things which are never used in real life when you become an engineer. While college teaches important skills, it creates a gap between a graduate and a job ready students.
  4. Fit for Indian Structure: I have already worked with International organizations that support women in technology, like Django Girls and Women Who Code, but there are certain requirements for starting their chapters that cannot be fulfilled in India.
  5. Latest Trends in Technology: People are are unaware of various latest trends.

I want to create an online platform to connect a student and a mentor sitting at different parts of the world and sharing their skill set.

What’s it like being a woman in technology in India?

If you live in a top 5–10 city it is good, but if you live in a tier-two or tier-three city then the situation is bad. Women are taking up technical fields to study just for the sake of a degree. Even men are unaware. For example, they often don’t know what open source is or the use of whatever they learned in college.

What problems have you run into while working on this project?

I was not charging admission for the workshops since I received sponsorship But, when events are free, people don’t take it seriously. People register for the workshop but don’t come since they have not paid anything to attend it.

Also, it is very difficult in India to get support from a big company. Trust Factor plays an important role here and sometimes we don’t have enough funds. Plus, bringing women to an event can be hard when they have a fear in mind about programming.

What kind of skills do I need to help you?

If you a technical person then you can become a mentor and help us make online courses or offline workshops.

If you are interested in community building and organization, then you can become a chapter lead and conduct different activities with the help of the mentors. You can also help in social media marketing or PR activities.

If you are an organization who can help us financially or raise funds for our project then it would be a great help.

How can others join your project at #mozsprint 2017?

Here are three ways you can get involved at #mozsprint:

  1. We are looking for technical people who would love to help others by sharing which technologies should we involve in our online courses and can provide related contents.
  2. We want to build a new website as an online presence is very important these days.
  3. Also, you can share any fun games, activities etc. that we should include while teaching during workshops.

You can contribute to our project via GitHub (@girlscript), we have guidelines to contribute listed there. Or you can contact me — for any further queries.

Join us wherever you are June 1–2 at the Mozilla Global Sprint to work on GirlScript and many other projects! Join a diverse network of scientists, educators, artists, engineers and others in person and online to hack and build projects for a health Internet. Get your tickets now!