UPDATED 14:30 EDT / AUGUST 14 2018

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Technovation ‘gave us wings’ to create innovative apps by girls around the globe

Closing the gender gap in information technology is important not only for equality, but to ensure that the industry has qualified workers for the future. Women make up just 20 percent of jobs in tech according to a recent study released by content marketing firm Evia, a figure that’s declined over the past three decades. Despite comprising more than half of the student body in computing courses, women tend to leave tech careers in part because of the lack of promotion opportunities and alignment of the work to their values and interests.

Fostering excitement and passion for science, technology, engineering and math skills among young girls is the purpose of non-profit Iridescent, which just announced results for its Technovation global innovation challenge.

“Technovation gave us inspiration and that spirit to just go into the field of information and technology and create cool apps to solve community issues,” said Aditi Jain, member of Team Cantavits from India, winners of the 2018 senior Technovation challenge.

Jain and the other Team Cantavits members, Shriya Shukla, Shraddha Chugh, Sneha Aggarwal, and Kritika Sharma, along with their teacher and mentor Archana Jain, spoke with Sonia Tagare (@SoniaTagare), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Technovation World Pitch week in Santa Clara, California, where teams of girls from around the world shared their innovations with members of the tech community. Tagare and Team Cantavits discussed their e-waste disposal application, called Eedo, and how being part of the Technovation challenge has changed their lives.

Responsible, easy, electronic waste recycling

Team Cantavits’ home country of India creates two million tons of e-waste a year, and the team discovered that 83 percent of the population are unaware of how to recycle their obsolete or broken electronic items. “[People] dispose [of] their e-waste as regular trash, or they just throw it in the dustbins, or maybe sell it to the local scrap dealers, which harm the environment illegally, and harms all the human health,” Jain said.

The Eedo app solves this by connecting users and authorized recyclers in a similar manner that online marketplace apps connect buyers and sellers. Posted “ads” for e-waste that needs recycling are “accepted” by a local recycler and pick-up is scheduled. When an item is collected, the recycler pays the owner of the e-waste a previously agreed amount, and the “ad” is closed.

“Technovation gave us inspiration and the spirit to just go into the field of information and technology and create cool apps to solve community issues,” Jain said. Her teammates agree that participating in the challenge has made them aware of their talents and taught them social responsibility, as well as giving them practical skills and experience in coding and marketing.

“Technovation gave us wings … to fly in a world of endless opportunities,” Jain added. She encourages girls around the world to consider a career in technology, saying: “Go girls in the field of information technology, and do whatever you want.”

Watch the complete video interview with Team Cantavits below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Technovation event.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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