Hi, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Saakshi Malhotra, I am 17 years old. I'm from New Delhi, India.
I am currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Computer Applications.
My hobbies include drawings (mainly Mandala ) , Painting , Singing and also learning new Languages. My love for languages and other cultures is a bit different. I am currently almost done with Learning German language up to my satisfaction level. I would like to learn Spanish , Persian and Korean next. I know how to read Persian text , but yet can't understand it . Familiar with a lot of Korean words , because I watch a lot of K-dramas,
I am a Tech Enthusiast. I really love how we have so many various fields and how it can change the world for someone and solve a lot of problems . If there is a problem tech can’t solve, this means a new era will come with an emerging technology.
What are your goals?
My professional goal is to be successful in field of technology and to keep learning to keep up with this rapidly changing industy and eventually to be a role model in this field , where women are underrepresented.
To be someone who they can look up to and get inspired.
Along with that, leading WiTech India , I aspire to provide young ladies out there an environment through this Non -Profit where there is endless evolving , learning and opportunities.
So that is eventually breaks down the stubborn societal and cultural barriers that gets in the way.
What challenges and successes have you faced?
Currently the biggest challenge is motivating females from a Tech background to participate more and not scare from being the only woman in a room of 20-30 men. As I have been there , once you a stubborn enough and willing enough to stand out in such a discriminating environment . You are changing the perspective of everyone there about a women in tech, which I personally count as a success.
Who do you follow online?
I don't follow anyone particularly "online", but I follow @thefemalehustlers for motivation and a few accounts related to mental health - @mindthegap ,which helps me keep sane on difficult days . I mostly catch myself re-sharing their posts to everyone.
What are you working on?
Currently a lot of things are going on:
I am looking for collaborations with communities and companies that would help me reach every part of India in order to reach young women inspire them , helping them gain opportunities in the field of technology.
Apart from this , I got a Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Scholarship , so I am also working on increasing my skillset. Along with teaching German as a foreign language in the spare time.
Do you have a mentor? Do you mentor anyone?
My mother is my biggest mentor- she is the strongest woman I know. She is my g0-to person for every and any kind of suggestions and advice. Although I have had other mentors for specific and targeted needs. Also as for me as a mentor , I don't mentor anyone officially but I mentor a few people i know informally. I welcome opportunities to do that in a more formal ways. I am happy to help others through their journey.
What's your social media?
I am active on LinkedIn and Instagram @saakshi077. Feel free to reach out! I’d love to chat about women in tech, current opportunities with WiTech India, other tech -resources , mental health and art.
Please tell us about how you got into WiTech
I was looking for opportunities. I spend a lot of time in random surfing in internet to look for events , hackathons i can participate in or online courses that I can do or scholarships . I followed almost all the women in tech organizations , so that I could get updated. The best tech events I have took part in was not in India. So I came across WiTech Page and saw the post of chapter expansion. I could related to the problem and it existed in India too , that's when i thought of " Lets do it".
What are some successes and challenges you've faced at WiTech?
We faced problems in making our point clear to our audience . They were not able to understand the purpose of the organization. But with efforts of some talented interns in combination with hardwork we were able to overcome them and start our respective channels
What successes has WiTech India had?
We started this Journey on the 2nd day of July intending to make the Indian chapter of WITech. We started making all the social media pages for the Indian people. We made a collaboration with the Maharaja Surajmal Institute and organized an Inter College Hackathon focusing on the hottest technologies -Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented, and Virtual reality. The program has a special attraction as all of the mentors and judges are based internationally so they'll be able to give a different insight from what students are used to hearing. All the Judges and Mentors are expert in their field with a lot of experience and knowledge. Pseudo Spaces Hackathon has had 90+ registrations with the team formation focusing on women empowerment with 2 females per team compulsory. Out of all the people involved in pseudo spaces, 70% are females