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The Rise and Rise of the Female Hacker

When you visit a typical hackathon, the thing that stands out is the lack of female representation. Sure, there are the occasional female hackers, but it’s generally all men. But the times they are A-changin’. And how!

We’ve noticed it in our hackathons. When we first started conducting our hackathons, we had a solitary female participant or two. Sometimes none at all. But now, the percentage of female participation in our hacks have grown. And growing hack by hack.

It was quite noticeable in our latest hackathon: the Applift Datathon. We had one of the highest percentages of females in our hackathons. Excluding our all women hacks, of course. Where the percentage is, not surprisingly, 100%. 😛

Let me give you a few data points. (See what I did there?). If you’ve read Pratik’s great post recapping the events, you’d know that we had 123 participants. But what you might not know, is that they were 13 women. That’s a little more than 10%!

In some teams, there were more women than men. Team Datadexters, who did rather well in the hack, was one of them. This five-member team (Sirisha, Janani, Ramya, Sujeet and Rojesh) had three female participants. That’s a 60% representation!

These women were enthusiastic too. Janani came all the way from Chennai to attend. Ramya attended the LearnUp earlier in the week. It was also good to see a familiar face in Sirisha. She has been an eager participant in several of our hackathons.

Team DataDexters showcasing their ideas.
Team DataDexters showcasing their ideas.

The female participants were not merely filling up the numbers. No! With great pedigrees and experience, they were a valuable asset to the teams.

Just ask team Ideal Mix. Team Ideal Mix happened to win the hack. This was also a five-member team. (Prerit, Dakshya, Tanmayee, Pawan and Amit). And I would go so far as to say that they might not have won the whole thing without Tanmayee’s participation.

Team Ideal Mix with their check.
Team Ideal Mix with their check.

So folks, come on and admit it. The times they are A-changin’. And for the better too, I might add. To the ladies, heed the call of the hack. Shake up the status quo. For the times they are a-changin’. Just like in that old Bob Dylan’s song.

Want to shake up the status quo? Check out our webpage for details about upcoming hackathons and online challenges. And to the ladies, take part in our Ms. Hackers initiative. This is an ongoing initiative designed to encourage women to take the plunge into the tech domain. We will have more details in a later post, so stay tuned.

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Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.