I received Michelle Obama’s latest book, “The Light We Carry”, over the holiday season as a gift. In addition to it being yet another engaging read about her life growing up and as the First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama shared some advice and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in the highly uncertain world we live in today.
One part of the blurb on the back cover of the book particularly struck me. “One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.”
It got me thinking about my experience as a volunteer with She Loves Data, and our organization’s impact.
Over the past year since I joined She Loves Data in March 2022, I continue to be amazed at how the organization continues to find both creative and meaningful ways to enable more women in the technology and data space, despite being a largely volunteer-run organization.
One of which is how She Loves Data collaborates with our sister organizations to amplify and multiply the impact we can deliver to the communities we serve…together.
In India, for example, we are collaborating with VMware’s VMinclusion Taara program, in which we offer women on a career break with the opportunity to learn and take advantage of all programs offered by She Loves Data, in addition to the courses offered by VMinclusion Taara. Since its launch in 2019, VMinclusion Taara has risen to be one of India’s leading upskilling programs for women looking to re-start their career, with over 22,000 women benefiting from its free upskilling and certification courses in digital transformation technologies such as Cloud, Network and Security, and Data Centre technologies.
In Singapore, we’ve joined forces with CodingGirls to deliver Code with Cloud to our community, which provides course participants with knowledge and skill sets on data analysis and visualization using Google Cloud. We’re proud to have celebrated the graduation of the program’s latest cohort from the 2022 program, which saw 98 women being selected for the on-demand program.
In addition to our past collaborations SheLovesTech and Girls in Tech in Singapore, these are just some examples of how we are harnessing the multiplier effect of our respective communities to ultimately benefit everyone we serve.
It’s great to see how as an organization, we do not shy away from supporting other organizations in our space. Ultimately, we know that we are not the only ones with the mission of empowering women in the technology field, and that we are not doing this alone. It reminds me of a quote I read in Melinda French-Gates’ book, Moment on Lift, in which she wrote: “We all want to have something to offer. This is how we belong. It’s how we feel included. So if we want to include everyone, then we have to help everyone develop their talents and use their gifts for the good of the community. That’s what inclusion means—everyone is a contributor. And if they need help to become a contributor, then we should help them, because they are full members in a community that supports everyone.”
Because when we shine our lights together, we make the world a brighter place.