Globally, IBM is known to be one of the most gender diverse technology companies and they are certainly on the right track when it comes to promoting this among the younger generation today, in preparation of future leaders.
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Aligning their global mandate of an inclusive IBM, IBM Pakistan took it upon themselves to organize the first ever IBM STEM Forum for High School Girls, here on 10th March 2017.
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This forum called Sahar: Discover the Era of Digital Technology, is a platform that aims to bring together the brightest science students from reputed schools in Pakistan for an active exchange of thoughts and ideas with female role models in the field of technology.
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Produced by IDG Pakistan, this first of its kind event took place in Islamabad inviting over 100 girls from various schools including Elite International, Head Start, Super Nova, ICAS, and others.
Senior women leaders from IBM participated at the event, where Ms. Defne Tozan, Country General Manager IBM Turkey was the chief guest along with Ms. Ilse Cilliers, VP IBM Systems Software MEA (Middle East Africa), Ms. Saba Kamal, Executive, Special Projects, IBM Middle East, and Ms. Noor Aftab, President of the International Women Economic Council. From the local industry, Ms. Aniqa Afzal Sandhu also graced the occasion.
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After the opening introduction by Country Campaign & Marketing Manager, IBM, Madeeha Omer, the keynote “Leading with Digital” was delivered by Mr. Ghazanfar Ali, Country General Manager, IBM Pakistan.
The second half of the session was broken into the “Innovation Jam”, where each group, of 3 or 4 members from participating schools brought their ideas to the stage ahead of the panel comprising of executives from IBM.
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Innovation Jam is a platform to get together and collaborate to identify innovative and promising “Big Ideas” through a moderated 5 minutes presentation by a group of students. Topics for the Innovation Jam included:
- Social Networking for Better Law Enforcement
- Biosensors for Better Healthcare
- 3D printing can help humans by …
- My Smart home will have these gadgets
- I can preserve the Earth by …
- I can ensure every child has a tutor by …
- I will change the world by …
It was fascinating to hear concepts of Internet of Things, genetic engineering, 3D printing, augmented reality, home automation and much more as each of the groups brought out their best to the table.
Ms. Nadia Zaheer, who interacted with the students on the power of Watson and the landscape of artificial intelligence today, presented a Live Demo on Watson and Cognitive Computing, with a powerful note of encouragement for all the girls.
The event was closed with a recognition ceremony for the top three winners and a whole new world of ideas that these young minds shared at the forum!
Event hashtags: #IBMSTEM4Girls #IBMSTEM #womenintechnology #womenatibm
All photographs are available on the IDG Pakistan Facebook page. Stay tuned for more exciting updates on #womenintechnology