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November 23, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm IST

Topic/Title of the Event   : IEEE WIE CONCLAVE

Type of the Event             : round table conference and panel discussion                 

Date(s) of the Event              : 23 Nov 2019


Time/Duration/Period     : 05:30 PM to 08:30 PM

Venue                              : Tarawade Clarks Inn Hotel
Pune, Maharashtra

WIE Conclave was an all-women round table conference and panel discussion which was moderated by Dr.Rajashree Jain. It was conducted by SICSR in collaboration with IEEE WIE Pune Section. The power-packed speakers included Dr.Kranti Athalye, Mrs.Aparna Badkundri,Mrs. Anita Kane,Dr.Vaishali Patil and Mrs.Deepali Tendulkar. The first round began with a brief introduction about the speakers and the event by Ms.Lekha Phijo.

After this,Dr.Rajashree asked specific questions to each panellist and they responded in the best way possible and to the best of their knowledge.

Dr.Kranti emphasized on staying updated with latest technological advancements and participating in hackathons and IBM’s global remote mentoring programme to map between problem-solving and development skills, as an answer to How does WIE and IBM, together with help bridge the gap between academia and industry personnel.

Mrs.Aparna Badkundri, responded to what kind of activities we need to initiate so that we succeed in our mission of Retention and Recruitment of Women in Technology,by stressing on the fact that development and technical skills should definitely be acquired first. Apart from this women need to retain themselves,in the industry and change their mindset that they are the second bread-earners and earning or not is a choice. Badkundri, also mentioned the need to have a proper vision and clarity about one’s requirements and the need to decide thereafter, not in a haste; as a response to what type activities should be incorporated for increasing participation both for students and professionals, alike.

Mrs.Anita Kane, was asked what opportunities she sees in engaging women /Girls in STEM through community initiatives like Open data and citizen corner of PMC. To this, she was instrumental in pointing out that several projects and analysis reports nowadays are not having desired quality and not impactful enough. They lack open data usage and solving of real-world problems.She suggested that students and professionals, irrespective of gender, should make use of government-provided data and work on building a better network to solve local problems.Kane, also suggested not to produce just engineers and doctors but quality doctors and engineers so that they can actually contribute towards the betterment of the society and not because it’s the trend.

Dr.Vaishali Patil,in response to How do you institutes like IIIT help us in these initiatives ,said that her college,I2IT, provides opportunities to women with extraordinary abilities, and institutes awards that actually encourage more such women to participate and retain themselves in the industry.She also emphasised that I2it has supported women empowerment events, one of them being,” Women’s progress” which had various themes like, Daring to be different; where the change in Mind-set of girls was targeted. Another theme was women’s contribution to development in India. Experienced panellists were invited which was really an enlightening session. She also made us aware of Nirbhaya Kanya and other laws and awareness programmes that can be undertaken by other colleges, if they are not into gender-specific programmes, etc.

Mrs Deepali Tendulkar said that IBM supports a 4-week training programme for women. Batches are of 15-20 people and currently, 8-9 batches are in action. They work on live projects and develop soft skills as well as technical skills which are very much required for the present ultratech generation. She suggested that these people are returning mothers or anyone who had broken up from industry or academia between 1-3 years. Sometimes, even after 10 years, though that is an exception. The point is changing mindset and help women retain in the industry and get the best out of them.

The second round involved some brilliant open-ended questions by Dr Rajashree Jain. These questions could be answered by any of the panellists and were open to discussion and collection of ideas from the audience as well. This session basically focused on the need to break through role models and be more confident at an individual level. All the panellists agreed upon the need to change the mindset of men and women alike and need to support each other in all ways possible. They also agreed that awareness could be created by bringing real things up, solving them together, marketing them well and thereafter attracting participation. Webinars and hackathon like events should be given importance to increase participation and retention by women. The need to have the right work-life balance along with the need to have a strong basic foundation before joining industry or academia was the major key points of this discussion.

The conference was finally summed up by Mrs Meera Thorat who gave us an overview of WIE activities that were conducted in 2019 and plan for 2020. She then delivered the vote of thanks and concluded the event. It was indeed a successful attempt at highlighting important issues and connecting with such eminent personalities who gave an insight into real-world problems and the ways to tackle it by modern methods.


Tarawade Clarks Inn Hotel Pune, Maharashtra India

Tarawade Clarks Inn Hotel Pune, Maharashtra India
Pune, Maharashtra India