Innovation and Inclusion: Google Women TechMakers International Women's Day at Seidenberg

Sven Latinovic
April 26, 2024
The speakers and audience members at Pace Seidenberg's Google Women TechMakers International Women's Day event, smiling and posing for a group photo in the Design Factory space.

On April 5, 2024, the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University transformed into a vibrant hub for celebrating and empowering women in technology. The event, part of Google Women TechMakers International Women's Day (IWD) Event Series, aimed to bring together women from various tech backgrounds through engaging speakers, interactive workshops, and ample networking opportunities.

Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of the Seidenberg School, alongside Katie Todd, co-director of the AI Lab at Pace, kicked off the event with welcome and remarks that highlighted the significance of fostering supportive environments for women in the tech industry.

One of the standout sessions was led by Dr. Christelle Scharff, Google Women TechMakers and co-director of the AI Lab at Pace, and featured research assistants Om Gaikhe and Samyak Meshram. The session explored how artificial intelligence can revolutionize the design of fabric patterns. Following this, Yousuf Aafreen, a student from Pace, announced the Gen AI Competition, challenging participants to use Google Gemini AI model to create innovative AI solutions during the event.

The afternoon kicked off with a "Build with AI" session, where Kartik Derasari, a Google Developer Expert (GDE), provided an overview of Google Gemini and a hands-on workshop permitting participants to build practical tech solutions. The day continued with a critical look at the ethical considerations of AI by Dr. Olga Scrivner, Google Women TechMakers and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her virtual talk, "Be Aware of GenAI: Ethics, Biases, and Disruptive Innovation," emphasized the importance of ethical AI development.

Miriam O'Shea's session, "Unlock the Next Iteration of YOU," offered personal insights on career growth and personal development within the tech industry. The day wrapped up with a dynamic panel discussion titled "Tech Women in Action," featuring Dr. Kaleemunnisa Lnu, Reginé Gilbert, and Krystyn Gutu, who shared personal moments, experiences and strategies for success in tech fields.

The event not only celebrated the achievements of women in technology but also underscored Pace University's commitment to inclusivity and innovation. Thanks to wonderful volunteers, Begimai Zhumakova, Om Gaikhe, Yousuf Aafreen, Darsh Joshi, Tiandra Lall, and Melanie Madera, the event was a success. The gathering left participants inspired and more connected, equipped with new insights and tools to navigate and excel in the AI sector.

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