Shwetal works as the Head of Global Partnerships and Outreach at Erase All Kittens, an award-winning start-up creating a platform adventure game that inspires girls to code and teaches them professional languages. This year, Shwetal won the Business Launchpad Female Entrepreneur of the Year award, and was also named a UN Empower Women “Champion for Change”.
These are her reflections:
Your mission in life is to find the intersection between your heart’s gladness and the world’s hunger- Fredrick Buechner
My journey was full of twists and turns. Working in tech or science was something I never imagined. Part of the issue was a lack of role models whilst growing up.
After finishing my undergraduate degree I moved to the UK for further education. Where I became the founding member of TEDx society of my university. A friend who was studying mechanical engineering wanted to start a project on electric bikes and asked me to get involved.
That was my first experience into startups and the world of tech after which I landed my first job at a tech consulting firm in London, being the youngest and the only female did make me feel isolated and intimidated, with no direct support or mentors in place to guide me.
London has a booming tech startup scene and I started going to and organizing events here, but despite the diversity this city has to offer I could not see anyone like myself within this industry.
Channeling my low morale on some side projects after work, which led to my new job where we are making a video game to teach coding to children and a documentary showcasing different women in tech as role models named Balancing Tech: Women at the forefront of the gender revolution.
This project features seven women from different backgrounds and upbringing and their journey into the male dominated world of tech. Explaining how their efforts and companies’ efforts are helping achieve a better gender balance.
I am now working at https://eraseallkittens.com/. Erase All Kittens is an innovative web-based platform game, designed from the ground-up to eliminate the fear that girls have of technology, and to inspire girls to code so that they can become creators rather than consumers of technology.
Solely through word-of-mouth, we have 120,000 players worldwide, and amazingly, over half of them are girls. We also recently partnered with MIT after winning the SOLVE challenge and we’re holding workshops for girls in the Middle East. On Tuesday 21st November, we launched our kickstarter campign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eraseallkittens/erase-all-kittens-a-game-that-inspires-girls-to-co , raising £15K to work with an award-winning games studio, to create the first game that effectively teaches girls to code. We even went to Syria.
“The new definition of a billionaire is a person or group of people, that can touch, teach or influence a billion people using tech,” said Glenda Greenwald, president and founder of the Aspen Brain Institute Foundation, and that is what we’re aiming for.”
Our whole team is very passionate about inspiring girls to learn digital skills so that they can reimagine their lives.”