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WSquare, India’s leading co-working space dedicated to women hosted India’s first, women led AI Hackathon. Titled, HerTech Hackathon, the initiative was the first of the series of hackathons planned across India with Facebook, the final hackathon will take place in Pune (June). The effort is in line to boost the participation of women in technology and widen the scope of opportunities being provided to them.

Only 22% of professionals who work in artificial intelligence across the globe are female, compared with 78% who are male, according to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report. The number of workers with AI skills grew 190% globally between 2015 and 2017, and for good reason — AI specialists are becoming some of the highest paid experts across tech. Yet if the gender gap in this speciality persists, it may widen the existing pay disparities between men and women in this industry and beyond.

To address this, WSquare in association with Facebook launched the first hackathon at ThoughtWorks Hyderabad addressing the problem statement that the women-led teams will be addressing are crucial issues that women encounter across the country in their lives even today. Technology doesn't differentiate, technology especially AI when thrust into the right hands can be used to make the lives, lifestyles, and careers of women in our country much much better. Participants came out with innovative solutions to the following problem state-ment.

1. Crowd Safety: How can Artificial Intelligence help women in predicting crowd behaviour that could disrupt public peace and provide safety by checking on people’s movement, po-tential crime incidents, and general security of women?

2. Secure Home for Women: Smart homes concept is creating a buzz with AI technologies being developed to optimise human effort in performing daily activities. How can Smart Homes also help women reach out to self-help groups and police during instances of do-mestic violence, sexual harassment and legal counsel?

"Participants spent 24 hours on coding, validating their ideas, networking followed by a Demo of their Prototype to a panel of VCs, entrepreneurs, and sponsors. A mentor from the business development side and a technology expert were assigned to the teams. “ - said Vandhana Ramanathan, Co-Founder & CEO of WSquare.

The 2-Day Hackathon focused on encouraging female students interested in a career in AI, women in technology returning back to work after a break and women-led tech startups. With over 120+ registrations, the Top 20 teams were picked by the Jury on finding solutions for problem statements addressed for women. Participants spent 24 hours on coding, vali-dating their ideas with mentors from business development and technology experts followed by a Demo of their Prototype to a panel of VCs, entrepreneurs, and sponsors.

The Jury picked three winners -

Team Her Home - Led by Soumya Sinha which focused on a Smart Home Solution targeting an emergency button where a warning voice will alarm the criminal to re-think his/her intention. The voice recording of the situation will be done for further sentimental analysis and calculating Safety Index.

Team Safe Space - Led by Sapna Yadav which highlighted a cross-platform with business and gov-ernment agencies that empower women to take control of their safety to create and maintain safe zones. Mapping localities, streets, public spaces based on set criteria’s that help in mapping them in terms of security.

Team Sakhi - Led by Shruti Gupta, educates and empower domestic help by providing a platform to those who seek help and those who want to assist them voluntarily by connecting to communities and women focused groups.

The winners get access to Free Courses in AI & ML by One Fourth Labs, an IIT-M based Learning Labs, access to ThoughtWorks Vapasi Initiative and mentorship opportunities with Facebook SheLeadsTech Community.

“Gender diversity and inclusion are an important part of every organization’s narrative. Given

the business’s growing interest and investment in AI, it’s important for us to ensure that any and all AI solutions should be created by as diverse a group as, the one that will benefit from it.

Partnering with WSquare is in line with our consistent efforts to foster equal representation in

the technology space, and we are looking forward to hosting an engaging series of hacka-thons in our offices.” say Tina Vinod, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, and Savita Hortikar, Head of Talent Acquisition for ThoughtWorks in India as part of ThoughtWorks’ #TalkTechToHer campaign.

As a strong advocate for Women in Tech and Return to Work for Women, Wsquare in Part-nership with Facebook presents HerTech Hackathon powered by ThoughtWorks as a belief to encourage women in pursuing a career in AI & Emerging Technology and to increase Women Tech Leaders in our Country” says Jinal Patel, Co-founder & COO Wsquare.



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