Meet Akshatha Konakondula Vydula
How did you first get involved in IEEE Women in Engineering?
As a student still in undergrad, I always thought WIE was for women working in the industry, academia, and research. I never realized that a student member could be part of it, and learn and explore various opportunities in WIE. During my third year of college, we were looking at all the societies we could establish in our student chapter, WIE came up in the discussion, and so we established WIE and added it to the fleet of other technical societies of the chapter. As a WIE member in the Bangalore Section, I realized the wide arena of activities and conferences that I can be a part of. In our student branch, with the guidance of our faculty coordinator, we got most of the members involved in WIE. I also participated in the WIE AGM, which proved to be a wonderful platform to interact with other active members and achievers who inspired to work in the various interesting domain of technologies.
Why did you decide to become a WIE member?
I feel it is time that we start addressing the growing gender inequality among professionals in technology. Although half the society is women, surprisingly women in tech are only one third or in some fields only one-fourth of the total. We should, therefore, try and identify the underlying cause of this issue and find an optimal solution so that we grow towards achieving equality. WIE does wonderful work towards this goal by providing excellent opportunities to women in a professional engineering career and thus encouraging young girls to pursue science and tech. Being part of the WIE gives opportunities to interact with people who have a similar vision of getting to equal, more so, WIE also identifies women achievers who spread a great wave of inspiration among young adults putting baby steps in the professional career.
What do you wish other people knew about IEEE WIE?
I wish more people knew about various programs that WIE conducts such as WiECon, and that WIE periodically identifies women achievers, who do exceptional work in their domain of interests. It also honors passion-driven women who demonstrate tenacious behavior to overcome odds and achieve things that sometimes the world has never seen before. WIE provides a platform for healthy knowledge transfer among professionals who can work together towards solutions of sustainable energy and affordable healthcare accessible for everyone.
What is it like to be an IEEE WIE Volunteer, and what do you enjoy about it?
The most interesting thing about being part of WIE is that I get to meet new people of very similar interests, people who believe technology and research, in particular, has the power to find an optimal solution to the burning questions of the society. Everyone at WIE believes in equality and that we should get equal. The best outcome of the modern-day problem is working together, no matter men or women, we should all together, work towards the betterment of the world, and WIE imparts exactly this.
Why do you feel it is important for women to enter into the field of engineering?
I feel women should not be intimidated by the challenges in the engineering field, instead, they should try to make small progress each day. I see the field of engineering as a Watermelon, if we try to eat it all at once, it seems impossible. Instead, if we cut it into pieces and take one small bite at a time, we can not only eat it but also enjoy its refreshing sweetness. Not everyone in engineering can solve all the problems, each of us picks our domain of interest and take baby steps towards progress, one at a time. And remember, all the problems of the world will not get solved overnight. It is a collaborative effort of individuals over the years if not decades, and together by supporting one another we can make this a better world to live in!