10Pearls’ commitment to making the technology space truly diverse and inclusive was on full display on April 7 when it hosted the second annual Women Tech Quest 2018 at the 10Pearls University in Karachi. The event was an effort to provide women working in the technology sector a space where they could freely express their talents by competing in Hackathon and Testathon contests.
Garnering a remarkable response, the Women Tech Quest attracted more than 150 female developers, coders, programmers, QA engineers and software testers from all over Karachi. Apart from professionals actively working in the IT sector, the event also saw participation from students and stay-at-home mothers, proving that the tech industry has the potential to become fertile ground for female technologists if they are provided with a conducive and supportive working environment.
The event commenced with the opening ceremony featuring speeches by women who have made their mark in the tech space. Rabia Garib and Talea Zafar from Toffee Tv and TheNewSpaces, and Tuba Khan from Circle Pakistan shared their experiences of navigating a challenging environment and how women could make their presence felt in a tough industry.
This was followed by three-hour-long Hackathon and Testathon competitions, where the participants were in their element as they displayed their flair for the tasks at hand. The event was rounded off with a closing ceremony, where the names of the winners, first runners-up and second runners-up of the two contests were announced, as follows:
Winner: Yusra Khatri
First Runner Up: Nadia Nasir
Second Runner Up: Aisha Batool
Winner: Shahida Firdous
First Runner Up: Maria Ajmal
Second Runner Up: Saman Asif
The winners took home prize money of Rs. 15,000 each, while the first runners-up were awarded Rs. 10,000. The second-runners ended with Rs. 5,000 each.
The Closing Ceremony also featured the Chief Guest of the event, Jehan Ara, President of P@SHA and The NEST I/O, addressing the attendees. In a highly inspirational speech, Jehan Ara emphasized the importance of women being self-confident in their abilities.
“It is important to question oneself, but don’t lose that confidence that one should have in ones’ abilities,” she said. “Women bring a lot of strength with them. First of all they are committed, they are passionate about what they do. And while I don’t mean to undermine men … I do believe that people from both genders deserve to be in positions of leadership … It is when young women come into leadership roles that other women can then aspire to be like them.”
10Pearls’ Managing Director Zeeshan Aftab explained the idea behind holding the Women Tech Quest:
“We want to provide a platform for women in the tech space to demonstrate their creativity and expertise, and get due recognition for their efforts. Such opportunities aren’t always available to them.”
With the first two editions of the Women Tech Quest proving to be highly successful, 10Pearls plans on continuing holding such events in order to develop an ecosystem of female technologists that can propel IT sector forward.