Dream a little dream

Women often face unequal opportunities in life, especially in STEM environments, based simply upon their gender.


Marian Qian

Working with virtual reality at HackTJ, junior Rhosini Raghuraman attentively takes in the presentation. “At HackTJ we wanted to revolutionize civic education and we made a VR game that taught people about the legislative process. We went into it not knowing Unity or how to work Alienware but we pulled through,” Raghuraman said when asked what her favorite part of HackTJ was. As a women interested in STEM, Raghuraman, was one of the girls making up the 1:3 girl-boy ratio of participants present at HackTJ.

Stuti Gupta, Staff Writer

A little girl holds a paintbrush in her hand, eyes wide as she takes in the world and paints before her a dream.

The cure to cancer. The first person to step on Mars. A world of coders who are girls.

Born into the world, a stereotype fell upon us. Unequal from the minute we opened our eyes to the time we reached the workplace, we were always sure to be reminded of this. The world has grown as we begin to realize our past mistakes, building back up with awareness such as the #MeToo movement; but at the same time, when companies such as Nike and Uber are aware of and support these movements yet are still involved with gender discrimination in the workplace, how can we choose to believe that this change is working?

HackTJ 2019 presented us with so many memories that we will never forget. From the food and the all-nighters to the coding, it is a night that we will never give up. While the whole event was a blast, one thing, one number, stuck out to me as I sat eagerly in the crowd of the opening ceremony the first morning: 33 %. One out of every three people who attended were girls. Fast forward to the award ceremony, tired, long faces, again another number stood out: one. Only one out of the 19 winning teams was an all-girl team. While all the amazing teams who won completely deserved to win with their enriching projects, I felt disappointed and astonished. It was not that more girls should have won because they are girls, but that because only a few girls participated, only a few won, starting a cycle discouraging more girls from joining or participating again. A STEM environment we are grown to shy against, many girls don’t realize their potential to be something the world tells us we can’t. Conditioned from the start with the word ‘can’t’, we choose to believe it. We can’t change the world, we can’t be coders, we don’t deserve the same opportunities as males. No, we can’t change everything, but to change just one person’s mind, it’s a start. It’s one step closer to something we don’t have to call a dream.