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EPAM Mexico Sponsors the 2019 Technovation Girls Summit for Girls in Tech

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EPAM Mexico proudly sponsored the 2019 Technovation Girls Mexico Summit in Zapopan, Mexico along with Fundación Televisa and Oracle. Technovation Girls is an international nonprofit program that offers teenage girls the opportunity to learn the skills they need to become entrepreneurs and leaders in tech.

Every year, girls form teams to identify a problem in their community and develop a mobile app solution in four stages: ideation, technology development, business planning and pitch. The teams then present their apps and business plans at their regional pitch event for the chance to advance to the world finals.

At this year’s country finals competition in Zapopan, near Guadalajara, EPAMers volunteered their time and resources to support the summit. As a sponsor, EPAM also funded the winning team’s travel to world finals in San Francisco in August 2019. Read more about how Technovation and EPAM make great partners to support girls in tech with innovation, creation and a sense of social responsibility.

HELPING SHAPE THE FUTURE OF THE TECH WORLD

Women make up more than half of the worldwide population, but account for only 30% of the world’s STEM researchers or professionals.

That’s why Technovation’s mission is to teach girls everywhere the skills they need to change the world with technology. Lilia Uribe, Marketing Manager at EPAM, who helped coordinate our sponsorship of the event, says that there are two reasons why Technovation’s work is so important.

“Number one, girls who participate learn new skills and can pursue fulfilling careers in tech,” Lilia says, “but also, if the applications the teams come up with turn out to be viable projects, they have the opportunity to really make an impact and solve problems for their communities and even for the world.”

INNOVATING THROUGH COLLABORATION

During the Mexico summit, 12 teams pitched their solutions to a panel of judges, which included Ernesto Marquez, Project Manager at EPAM. Ernesto says it was exciting to see the teams combining innovation and business planning with a focus on positively impacting their communities. This year’s winning team, “Femme fatale,” developed ORATIO, an app that translates Spanish to sign language to improve communication between people in their community who are hard of hearing or deaf.

Ernesto along with the other judges recognized ORATIO’s potential. “The way that Femme fatale solved a community problem with compassion and technological excellence really fulfilled the Technovation Challenge and stood out,” he said. “People who are hard of hearing or deaf can feel isolated because they face communication barriers with people who don’t know sign language. This app can create bridges between people. The ability for people to be able to reach out and communicate is so important to who we are as human beings, and Femme fatale’s work could grow to impact not just their community, but a worldwide network of people who want to learn sign language and communicate with other people across the language barrier.”

INSPIRING GIRLS TO BE WHO THEY WANT TO BE

The girls also benefitted from an inspirational talk given by Melissa Chan, Project Manager at EPAM, about pursuing their dreams of having successful careers in business and tech. Melissa opened her presentation by posing a question to the crowd: “Most people imagine engineers as men, but did you imagine engineers look like this?” She displayed photos of the top four women in tech and business and encouraged the girls to consider the future that they could make for themselves – a future where they could be among the women on the screen.

“Girls in engineering, coding and tech stand out now, but in a few years, statistically speaking you could be the majority!” Melissa told the girls. “Your generation has the ability to enact great change and impact the gender imbalance in tech and business.”

Melissa also showed photos of the places she’s traveled around the world to share how her job in tech offers opportunities to experience new things. “Girls have already written to me to tell me how excited my talk made them about their future careers,” Melissa says. “I’m so excited to see a new generation of girls in tech be represented as talented engineers, coders, whatever they want to be, and I’m excited that EPAM can support them!”

SHARED PRINCIPLES, SHARED SUCCESS: EPAM AS A COMMUNITY PARTNER

Supporting initiatives like Technovation Challenge is key for EPAM to make a positive impact on the communities where we all live and work. “At EPAM, we believe in tech and the ability of tech to change the world, just like Technovation,” Ernesto explained. “We see the value and potential of younger generations to develop technology that will positively impact our world.”

Melissa, who is also a SCRUM master and is learning HTML, CSS and Java coding, agrees. “We still have a great gender gap in tech worldwide,” she said, “but supporting initiatives like Technovation means we are helping achieve balance.”

Lilia has already witnessed the impact of acting locally and supporting organizations like Technovation. “In Mexico especially, we get a lot of positive responses when support the community around us to develop new solutions for their specific problems, as well as providing opportunities to future generations!”

Thank you to the EPAMers who participated in the Technovation Challenge Mexico Summit, including Melissa, Lilia, Ernesto, and Carlos Quirarte, Senior Director and Country Head of EPAM Mexico, who drove our sponsorship of this great initiative!