In our ongoing series of Visible Women profiles, where we celebrate women at various stages of their leadership journey, we are delighted to introduce Nishat Humaira, Coding Trainer at 01Founders in London and a postgraduate student at King's College London.
Nishat is a dedicated advocate for inclusivity and diversity in the tech industry with a First Class degree in Computer Science and a background in Advanced Software Engineering.
Her commitment to uplifting others and promoting gender equality in STEM fields has made her a role model for aspiring women in tech. In this interview, we delve into how Nishat turned negative comments into motivation, how social media can help close the gender gap, and discover her vision for a more inclusive tech community.
What challenges have you overcome to get to where you are? How did you overcome them?
Growing up and deciding what to study for my GCSEs (aged 14-15), I faced many negative comments about my choices. I faced comments such as ‘That's a boy’s subject’ and ‘You need to be smart for that’.
Then, during my A Levels, I was asked by my own teacher ‘Why are you here?’. These comments were really challenging, as was being the only girl in the class.
But, instead of these negative comments holding me back, I let them fuel my motivation to keep on pursuing my interests and prove to everyone what I can do. I am still on that journey and love to uplift others in this process, too, so they don't feel demotivated.
You are an active advocate for inclusivity in STEM. Tell us more about your work in this area.
Alongside my studies, I began working as a Coding Trainer at 01 Founders, a free coding school for adults with no experience or qualifications required. In this role, I guide and support beginners in their journey to becoming full-stack software developers.
My passion for this role stems from my own challenging journey into tech and my desire to promote inclusivity and diversity in the industry. I strive to provide encouragement, support, and professional development opportunities to ensure success.
Through social media and public speaking, I also work to inspire more women to pursue careers in tech. Being a part of people's journeys into tech is incredibly fulfilling, and I am grateful to contribute to a more inclusive and diverse tech industry.
What is your ultimate ambition and how do you plan to get there?
I am committed to positively impacting my community and inspiring young minds to pursue careers in STEM. To achieve this, I aspire to take on a leadership role that involves community work, public speaking, and using my influence to encourage others.
While I utilise social media as a powerful tool to achieve these goals gradually, I hope to expand my efforts by engaging in mentorship programs and actively advocating for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.
By sharing my experiences and insights, I ultimately want to empower individuals and demonstrate that their dreams are achievable, regardless of their background or gender.
In your opinion, what are some effective strategies for addressing the gender gap in tech?
Through role models, we can highlight the achievements of successful women in tech and provide them with opportunities to share their experiences and insights that can help to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the industry.
Through education, we can encourage girls and women to study STEM subjects and provide them with equal access to educational and training opportunities, which will then help to address the gender gap in tech. I believe this can be achieved through programs and initiatives that support girls and women in pursuing STEM education, such as mentorship, scholarships, and after-school programs.
What advice do you have for other women who want to enter your field /gain better recognition for their work?
For women in the tech industry, networking is crucial in breaking barriers and gaining recognition. Attending industry events and conferences provides valuable opportunities to meet professionals, exchange ideas, and build connections and doing so can really help with motivation as well.
Building a strong online presence is especially important for women, as it allows you to showcase your expertise and work. Platforms like LinkedIn offer a chance to connect with other professionals, access mentorship programs, and stay updated on industry trends.
Social media, particularly Twitter and Instagram, can also be powerful tools for women to engage in industry discussions, follow influential women in tech, and increase their visibility. By actively networking, women can expand their professional circle, find mentorship, and gain better recognition for their work in the tech field.
Connect with Nishat Humaira