Paving Ways for More Women Participation in Machine Learning

A Story of Risala Nabila Imani, Bangkit 2022 Student from Universitas Gadjah Mada
AI and Machine Learning are at #2 in the most increasingly-demanded jobs across industries.
(Future of Jobs Survey 2020, World Economy Forum)

Becoming a Machine Learning (ML) Engineer is an inspiration to many these days, including Risala Nabila Imani (21). Currently majoring in Mathematics at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Risa believes that female students like her can reach their full potential in this field. Through her participation in several communities, she has actively encouraged other females to study IT.
“We (women) can excel in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as well!” 

Developing Interest in Machine Learning

Risa became interested in learning about ML when her campus held a seminar that explained the benefits of using ML. This technology can be used for self-driving cars, medical diagnosis, online fraud detection, etc. Risa thought that if she studied ML, she could contribute her knowledge to improve mankind’s progress and life quality. Risa’s motivation to be a good human being is rooted in a hadith she holds the most: ' The best amongst you are those who benefit others the most. (H.R Bukhari)’.”

By deepening her knowledge of ML, Risa aspires to be a Data Scientist, a task she learned during her internship opportunity at Apiary Academy and Coworking. There Risa had a chance to be a Marketing Intern while getting acquainted with data science.

Risa also served as Product Manager when she participated in a start-up project held by Apiary Academy and Coworking Space. She was assigned to create new products and provide solutions to the start-up Bullyid Indonesia problems with her team.

Even though she has a lot of experience, Risa felt that she needs to learn more and have broader connections to be a beneficial tech talent in the future. Then at that time, Risa found Bangkit.

Inspired by One of Bangkit 2021 Alumni

One of the reasons Risa was interested in joining Bangkit is the participation of leading tech industries. Bangkit is led by Google and supported by GoTo and Traveloka. Risa sees the existence of these industries as a good opportunity for her future career. It makes Risa more excited to learn ML.

It didn’t stop there. Meeting students from all over Indonesia with the same enthusiasm and having an opportunity to be taught by great instructors make Risa happy to be part of Bangkit. But the thing that injects her spirit is not only that.
“I am also inspired by Reza Albian Jawas, one of the inspiring Bangkit 2021 alumnus. His story really motivated me to keep learning. I am amazed by his perseverance when he was still an internet cafe operator. His persistence successfully made him part of a US multinational tech company.”
In addition, Risa felt that Bangkit gives her very complete modules with comprehensive and easy-to-understand learning. She wants to study hard so she can graduate and be hired by a company when she participates in the Bangkit Career Fair later. For her, the career fair will be an opportunity to widen her exposure.

Risa and her 9 fellow cohorts are currently doing a Capstone Project with Traveloka Singapore. They are assigned to provide solutions to IT problems at the company.

Encouraging Fellow Female Tech Talents to Shine

As a future female tech talent, Risa sees that the participation rate of women’s involvement in tech is meager. Therefore, Risa wants to encourage her female friends to have a career in the STEM field. She did this by taking part in Girls Kode, a non-profit organization that empowers and connects women through digital and technology. Risa met many inspiring women in this organization and became The Most Interactive Brand Ambassador because of her flaming spirit.

In Girls Kode, Risa is responsible for creating content about women empowerment, digital and technology. She is also in charge of having interactive discussions with Girls Kode’s followers and organizing events or webinars with other volunteers. Through this community, Risa can share her opinion about women’s issues to grow people’s awareness about women's empowerment.

Besides being active in Girls Kode, Risa also serves as COO at Passion Bubble, an educational organization that aims to spread knowledge as widely as possible. Holding an important role in this community, Risa is tasked with finding talents for the mentoring class, creating schedules, maintaining events, managing the website, and working with other C levels and staff.

After graduating from Bangkit later, Risa wants to give her impact on more fellow female tech talents. She doesn’t want to keep her acquired insights alone but to spread them to many people, especially women, to make them more beneficial.
“I want to show my commitment to empowering my fellow female colleagues to launch their careers in tech. It is completely biased when someone says that a woman can’t contribute to the world of technology like a man. Women also have the same learning opportunities, so that in the future, they can shine and be beneficial for many people too.”
Now, to implement the knowledge she acquired in Bangkit, Risa and her colleagues on campus created an ML community in the Mathematics department. This community was formed to accommodate her juniors interested in this technology so that they can know more about the benefits of ML’s practice. Risa hopes that this community can expand its scope to the faculty level.


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