Sharmin, 16, is studying A-levels in Maths, Physics and a part of our Student to Stemette programme. She was one of five participants selected to attend Dreamforce in San Francisco from Nov 4 to 11 2017.
Through the Student to Stemette programme (a non-profit organisation to encourage young women to pursue STEM careers), I attended the Dreamforce 2017 event held by Salesforce, the “worlds most innovative company according to Forbes”.
Dreamforce was a place where many companies came together to share, experience, learn from each other and develop. From pitches to dens to start-ups, keynotes, parties, and discussions, ‘jam-packed’ cannot describe!
The keynotes and talks we attended included:
The former first lady Michelle Obama, where she spoke about the seriousness of education and healthcare in the United States and the younger generation. Working together as a community and also talking about the pursue of STEM careers and the difficulty of being a female in STEM today (but also the improvement of it).
Award-winning actress Natalie Portman talking at the Equality summit regarding the gender wage gap and inequality in all industries (including entertainment), sharing her personal experiences, including the time when she was paid half the wage as her male co-star.
Founder & CEO of i.am+ Will.i.am talking about his own foundation ‘I.am.angel’ where he encourages students to pursue Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths. Empowering students and sharing his success stories through the scholarships he’s provided.
Lastly the founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff spoke about Salesforce and technological change, how due to the change (such as artificial intelligence), companies must transform themselves to adapt to the customers for the future of success.
After the dreamforce event, we also visited companies such as Slack, Bloomberg, Facebook, Dropbox, going to ‘dreamfest’ (Alicia keys was there!) as well as being tourists in San Francisco! Visiting those companies gave us an idea of how to get more into computer and tech-based careers, as well as networking with software engineers and socialising.
This experience was part of the Student to Stemette programme run in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s Born to Be citizenship programme. More details about the programme are available on the Student to Stemette website. Next year’s conference will be happening in Houston, Texas, and we will be taking five more young women, selected from this year’s mentoring cohorts.