ABI.Amsterdam Leaders on a Mission

Systers is a close-knit, diverse, and global community for women involved in the technical aspects of computing. Founded in 1987 by Anita Borg together with 12 other women as a small electronic mailing list for women in “systems,” it now comprises more than 6,000 women technologists from more than 60 countries. In honor of Systers’ 30th anniversary, we’re sharing the stories of 30 members who represent the community’s breadth and depth.

In 2010, I was visiting Pakistan when a young woman saw me using a laptop and approached me. She was about 20 years old, had recently graduated from school, and had succeeded in landing her first job interview. The only thing stopping her from getting the job was the fact that she didn’t know how to use a computer.

Most jobs in today’s world require employees to have some sort of digital skills. However, in less developed areas of Pakistan, there are no opportunities for girls to use computers and learn these skills. This was the problem the young woman faced, so she asked me if I could teach her.

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