Google Developers Group Islamabad and Women Techmakers Islamabad jointly hosted a conference to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) on the theme “Dare To Be.” The conference was a resounding success, featuring valuable insights from talented tech women and the industry’s brightest minds. The event celebrated diversity by inviting professionals and students from various backgrounds, the transgender community and the differently abled, to motivate them to embrace their aspirations, ambitions, and dreams and share them with others. This year’s IWD theme encouraged each other to be authentic and break stereotypes. The conference explored what it means to be audaciously bold, to walk through the world with courage and conﬁdence.
The conference kicked oﬀ with a keynote by Ali Naqi Rizvi, Co-Manager, of Google Developers Group (GDG), who explained the background of GDG Islamabad, introduced the team, and took a trip down memory lane. Sarwat Rizvi, Women Techmakers Ambassador & Data Science Consultant, Convergent Business Technologies, dove into the details of what our theme “Dare To Be” truly means, how the agenda for this year’s IWD was intricately designed to provide a platform for the next generation of female leaders and underrepresented communities.
Usman Nazir, Director of Business Systems & Analysis, S&P Global, demonstrated his commitment to building a team that values diversity and inclusivity. “At S&P Global, we not only focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) internally but also partner up with like-minded organisations to multiply the power and inﬂuence of DEI for a collective win. S&P Global has a very diverse product portfolio. To accelerate progress and power the markets of the future, we strive towards building empowered and inclusive teams that, in turn, build these diverse product lines,” said Usman Nazir.
A panel discussion, “Dare To Be” was designed to inspire and motivate individuals to break barriers and reach their full potential. The panel featured a stellar line-up of panellists, including Samia Qamar, Director People, S&P Global; Aisha Sarwari, Director Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Company; Hira Zainab, Project Director, Asia Pacific ICT Alliance; Cynia Ejaz, Regional Head North, Daftarkhwan, and the moderator, Ayesha Khawaja, Human Resource Manager, Wolfiz/GDG.
A talk by Rashida Riaz, Business Owner, Resin by Rashida, also known as the Iron Lady, captivated the audience with her journey of hard work that led her to become a successful entrepreneur. Her story taught everyone how to turn their dream into reality through resilience and hard work. A lightning talk unveiled the story of Kashaf Alvi, Pakistan’s Youngest Deaf Author and the youngest differently abled Pakistani author of “The Language of Paradise,” highlighting the importance of inclusivity for minorities. His insights, using a video, and incorporating sign language, spoke volumes of his fortitude, inspiring the audience. Ali Ilyas, Psychotherapist and Consumer Psychology Consultant, took the audience on a journey of self-realisation at the event.
The event’s highlight was the workshop on Bridging the Digital Gender Divide, conducted by Muhammad Umar Nazir, Google Developers Group Islamabad. The workshop was specially designed to upskill the transgender community in various digital skills as well as equip them with the art of self-branding. Taqi Rizvi, Senior DevOps Engineer, TEO International, hosted a technical workshop on Cloud Infrastructure that covered a wide range of topics, including an overview of the Cloud Computer engine and Google Kubernetes.”
This initiative’s main sponsors and partners were S&P Global, Deaftawk, Digital Inclusive Pakistan, Daftarkhwan, TiE Islamabad, Women in TechPK, NetMag, shemote, and Vyro.