Virtusa Sri Lanka in bid to close gender equity gap across IT industry and STEM fields
Virtusa Sri Lanka celebrated International Women’s Day at Shangri-La, Colombo on Thursday as part of its global campaign to close the gap in gender equity across the IT industry and STEM fields. Virtusa is a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering and IT services and solutions.
Virtusa is also hosting a global Engineering Equity hackathon, to spur innovation in tech solutions that advance gender equity while nurturing female talent. Over 65,000 female students from nine countries, including Sri Lanka, have registered for the hybrid event, which offers built-in mentoring along with job opportunities, scholarships, as well as cloud and technology certifications.
“Women will never reach gender equity in the STEM field, unless we apply the same rigour to solving gender equity that we apply to the most challenging engineering problems. The Engineering Equity hackathon aims to do just that, providing a platform to create solutions and training for women by women,” said Sundar Narayanan, Chief People Officer at Virtusa.
This year for International Women’s Day Virtusa allocated USD 70,000 globally in scholarships and donations. Of this, scholarships worth USD 10,000 were awarded to female students in Sri Lanka through partner universities, namely, the University of Colombo, University of Jaffna, University of Vavuniya and the Open University of Sri Lanka.
The Engineering Equity hackathon aims to address and solve societal problems by encouraging participants to develop apps, platforms and programs based on four identified challenges. These include a chronic STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subject, gender gap at schools and universities, a shortage of female role models, the perception of technology careers for women and a lack of understanding of how technology can enable women to change the world.
To cap off its Women’s Day events, Virtusa hosted a number of virtual panel and fireside chats with female leaders, including a panel discussion in Sri Lanka, with the participation of several inspiring women across technology and other sectors, who shared their experiences and learning on how to navigate the gender equity gap, and how to succeed in an ever-evolving career landscape.