Congratulations to the winners of Red Hat’s 2017 Women in Open Source Award! This award recognizes those who contribute to open source projects and who inspire others to join the open source movement. We are proud to say that both winners are part of our Anita Borg Institute community, and are excited to see what these two extraordinary women have planned for the future. Read on to learn more about these inspirational women in technology!
Avni Khatri – Community Award Winner
Avni knew unlimited access to education would not only empower kids but also allow them to improve their communities. She wanted to find a way to provide free and open source software (FOSS) to kids around the world. In 2010, Avni started making this dream a reality by volunteering for Kids on Computers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing technology to underserved communities. She has since traveled to remote areas in Mexico, India, and Morocco to install labs in schools and to enable local volunteers.
“I’ve helped set up these labs with the hopes that kids will be able to utilize the technology and get access to educational content that they don’t otherwise have,” Avni said. “We’re hoping the kids will see what’s possible, and then come back and help improve their own lives, their families’ lives, and their communities’ lives.”
In 2012, Avni became the president of Kids on Computers. She also recently co-founded an open source platform called For a Living, which allows students to interview professionals and learn more about different careers.
Avni further contributed to the open source community by volunteering on the GHC 16 Open Source track committee. This track encourages people to learn more about open source products and FOSS development.
Jigyasa Grover – Academic Award Winner
Jigyasa is a student at Delhi Technological University. After working in jobs that utilized competitive algorithmic C/C++ programming, Java, Python, and other technologies, she developed an interest in open source. She began working on Pharo, an open source Smalltalk IDE, and became a top contributor to Pharo 4.0 in 2015. She soon received research opportunities from the National Research Council of Canada and the ESUG at Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) France.
To give back to her community, Jigyasa shares her work and experiences through various blogs, and participates in mentorship programs to help other women in computing. She also speaks at tech conferences, organizes code labs and tech talks, and leads teams of women in hackathons.
“I believe that we rise by lifting others, and helping others step into this alluring world of open source has not only impacted them, but it also has created a ripple effect,” Jigyasa explained.
Jigyasa is a member of Indian Women in Computing, a Systers community, as participates in ABI.Local, our online network of locally organized communities that bring women technologists together in cities around the world.
Congratulations to both winners!