It’s been quite a long time since my first ever London Startup Talk with the founder of Social Belly, and that happened for a couple of reasons: I’ve been experimenting a lot with my blog and I’ve decided to reserve this space to introduce amazing women entrepreneurs in tech.
Why the London Startup Talks Series?
During this year of blogging and consultancy for startups, I realised that, even if women are engaged in amazing projects, they’re less exposed than men and that’s not fair. We’re working twice as much, why can’t we have the same treatment? We’re always involved in diversity and equality topics or easily involved in the fashion industry or blogging contests, but why can’t we just talk about tech or engineering? Is it that strange asking a woman about her love for tech?
As I’m in love with tech, I’ve decided to interview the most amazing women I know and not only because we share the same love, but also to give them exposure and highlight what they do.
And of course to give you a bit of insight of what I feel about tech. 🙂
So, a few months ago I went to a Chatbot Meetup and together with the amazing organiser Kriti Sharma (recently featured on BBC for Ada Lovelace Day) I met with Anindita from Gupshup, a Bot Builder Platform, and Susana Duran, Director of Mobile Development at Sage.
I was curious to hear from them, learning about their experience, concerns and ideas about Bots and the next technologies, that’s why I decided to ask them a few questions.
And today I’m very happy to share this interview with all of you!
The interview with Anindita and Susana
1) When did you understand you wanted to be in tech?
Anindita: It was a natural progression. I always wanted to do something that would help people interact. Communicate better and faster. Technology is evolving so rapidly that every day is a new with a million promises.
Susana: My parents bought me my first computer when I was 10 years old and that was a long time ago. I liked it and I took some programming lessons by that time although it wasn’t very usual. Time went by and I started my Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and after that a master degree.
2) Did someone help you achieving it? If yes, how big was his/her contribution?
Anindita: My mentor, boss and guide, the CEO of Gupshup.io. Mr. Beerud Sheth. He changed my perspective. Sometimes it is important to be futuristic yet elegantly simple.
Susana: My parents. Although they would have preferred other traditional careers, they provided all the support I needed since I was very young.
3) Why do you think Bots are the next big thing in tech?
Anindita: It is a once in a decade paradigm shift. It is similar to the web or the app wave. It will change the way people use technology to communicate. It will be a bigger and more powerful medium than anything we have seen before.
Susana: Mobile is the future and immediate and quick actions are the key. Mobile apps are also trying to follow the trail of bots with solutions like Google with Android Instant Apps but now bots provide the best and most complete solution for any platform.
Bots represent a once-in-a-decade paradigm shift. It is similar to the web or the app wave. It will change the way people use technology to communicate. It will be a bigger and more powerful medium than anything we have seen before.
4) Do you think there are more or fewer obstacles being Women in Tech?
Anindita: Depends. I think technology is a great leveller. It does not look at gender. It looks at innovation, usability and reach. If you have the grit and willingness to change and adapt to new things and to serve people, there is no stopping you.
Susana: Although everybody says there is no difference, women need to demonstrate more than men and by default are considered less valid for tech issues.
5) How do you think we can improve a more gender equality in STEM?
Anindita: Ability, humility and hard work. The world is changing. Gender biases will have to go away if there is talent.
Susana: Family is still a matter that is considered a woman duty, as well as all tech stuff is a man thing. Equality will be achieved when both things can be imagined for anyone.
6) Who’s inspiring you?
Anindita: My mentor, boss and guide, the CEO of Gupshup.io. Mr. Beerud Sheth
Susana: There are lots of entrepreneurs and people who deserve being our inspiration but my inspiration mainly comes from my own overcoming instinct and my willing of continuous evolution. My family give me their support and even when I am frustrated and I think that this is too much they are always there to hug me and make me smile again.
Family is still a matter that is considered a woman duty, as well as all tech stuff is a man thing. Equality will be achieved when both things can be imagined for anyone.
7) The best advice to give to an 18-years old girl looking to find/build her future path
Anindita: it is important to be focused, but it is equally important to have fun. Great ideas come from a free mind. Changing these ideas to reality come with a disciplined self. All the best!
Susana: Do what will make you happy as you will probably spend the most part of your time and life on it. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s not going to be easy just try it.
..and now we need to follow their advice, girls: do what makes you happy and remember to step outside your comfort zone! And if you feeling stupid, just do it anyway, it won’t be that stupid if it’s really what you want to do!
How are you feeling, girls?
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How are you feeling boys?
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