To address the low number of girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Women LEAD and Karkhana jointly organized a one day workshop and networking event for the female engineering students of Kathmandu Valley on January 5th, 2013. The event was divided in two sections: the technical part of playing with LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and networking with the working professional female engineers in the country.
Barsha Shrestha and Suresh Ghimire, recent graduate engineers of Electronics and Communications led the technical session for 33 women participants from around 10 colleges in programming the LED lights. During short introductions, Sakar Pudasaini (co-founder of Karkhana) and Claire Naylor (co-founder of WLEAD) encouraged the girls to keep moving forward as representatives of the small number of women in engineering. The networking event was an informal way for the girls to connect with professionals, ask for advice and even just get to know each other.
In Nepal, female engineering students comprise 10% of the engineering class. At the end of the session, Karkhana announced vacancies for female interns and a position for a professional woman to take part in their decision making. The event will hopefully be the first of many to help young female engineers break the stereotypes of engineers in Nepali society.