Sneha Priya, co-founder of SP Robotic Works
Gone are the days when women were restrained within the four walls of the house. Over the past few decades, women have been taking a lead in almost all the sectors — from politics to technology, but we still have a long way to go. According to recent statistics, only 2 percent companies are led by women CEOs and contribute to a total of 20 percent in the overall workforce. Women entrepreneurship has become a trending topic within the broader discourse of women empowerment.
Technology is one of the major sectors dominated by men; from an engineering college to a multinational technology-based company, the women are outnumbered in a ratio of 5:1, reported Trustradius.
Startups, widely reckoned as the stepping stone towards an unconventional work environment, are trying hard to fill this gap. Only one in four start-ups have a female founder, reported a study from Silicon Valley. Gender diversity of a company is highly influenced by the founder’s gender. As a woman founder myself in the space of technology, I have had my own challenges and this has constantly pushed me to empower as many women as I can around me. With over 80 Maker Labs across the country, we have collaborated with more than 15 women, enabling micro-entrepreneurship. One such story is of a woman micro-entrepreneur who decided to make a difference in STEM education during the COVID-19 crisis.
When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a nationwide lockdown, most students were stuck in their homes with lack of learning resources and guidance. Amid the challenges posed by the mass closure of educational institutions, Shivakshi Tiwari, a micro-level entrepreneur in a small town of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, partnered with SP Robotic Works, to provide a Digital Maker Lab, powered by “SPARKY”, the AI teacher, with latest technologies like Drones, Virtual Reality (VR), Coding and Robotics Courses for 7-17 year olds. With the vision to improve technology education in India, she has reached more than 200 students in and around Dehradun thus far.
Amidst the lockdown too, she ensured she kept her Makers engaged by encouraging them to participate in the Online Competitions and Project challenges held by the Headquarters. And it was this zeal of hers that got her student, 8 year old Manishka Dubey, a whopping Second Prize in the National Coding and Robotics Challenge, NCRC 2020 on a National Level! Shivakshi and other women like her, along with their in house-responsibilities have managed their time well in order to make sure the children were not stuck at home with any barriers to their learning and have a productive time with enough practical exposure.
Ed-tech is one of the fastest growing and rapidly diversifying startup sectors that has witnessed unprecedented transformation in the last one year and technology has only helped it boom by providing real-time value and intelligence. The new developments and innovations in the ed-tech space have made the process of learning more fun and creative, paving the way for holistic development of children.
STEM education has a critical impact on how the future workforce will look like. Robotics and Coding are allowing mankind to understand the real-time challenges in a practical way and SP Robotics is just that.
Diversity in any industry enables a higher growth rate with better and more efficient workforce. Inputs and insights from multiple perspectives will only help the sector boom, confirmed a recent report by McKinsey. Therefore, higher representation of women in the technology space can accelerate its growth and make it more accessible with a higher involvement.