A Swedish initiative joins hands with Indian partners to encourage more women students in the field of S&T
Kolkata/IBNS: On the occasion of the State Visit by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Team Sweden, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, FICCI Ladies organization and Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog recently organized the Tekla Festival in Mumbai.
The Tekla Festival was founded by Swedish recording artist Robyn 2015 in partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm with the aim of getting more girls involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and thus address gender equality in education and workplace.
Encouraging a girl's early interest in technology cuts a path toward strengthening the society and ensuring that the initiative can develop competence and produce research at the highest possible levels.
Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, said, “Even in tech-savvy Sweden, we struggle to engage females in technology. The mission to attract more women and girls to STEM studies and careers is about tapping into as much human talent and potential as possible. The longer this imbalance persists, the more society loses. Encouraging an early interest in technology cuts a path toward strengthening our society and ensuring that our university can develop competence and produce research at the highest possible levels.”
Said Madeleine Sjöstedt, Director-General of the Swedish Institute, “Tekla is a Swedish initiative but the values of Tekla are universal. The global gender gap within the tech world represents lost opportunities for millions of girls and women. But it’s not only a question of gender equality. Surveys show that the economy will grow if women get to contribute. Our mission is to attract more girls and women to participate in the tech sector. For the benefit of us all.”
This year, under the guidance of Caroline Dahl, PhD, Technology Innovator at RISE, Chairman at Stockholm Makerspace and Board Member of Makers of Sweden, the Tekla organized a workshop, where girls of age between 11 and 15 from schools of Mumbai got an opportunity to explore, learn and enjoy STEM.
“It is important to introduce girls to different kinds of technologies and logistics for them to both explore and work in STEM. Tekla’s vision is to make girls learn about electronics,” said Dahl.
The workshop was followed by Tekla and Gender Parity Dialogue on underrepresentation of women in technology and ways of empowering women and girls within the STEM sector with key speakers including Caroline Dahl, Madeleine Sjöstedt, Harjinder Kaur Talwar - President of FICCI-FLO, Ylva Berg - CEO of Business Sweden, Anjali Raina - Executive Director of Harvard Business School, Ingrid Eelde Koivisto - Secretary General and Founder of Pratham Sweden, Peter Betzel - CEO of IKEA India and Srimathy Kesan - PhD, Founder and CEO of Space Kidz India.