Ruchi Sanghvi: First Female Engineer at Facebook April 20th, 2012
Ruchi Sanghvi grew up in the small town of Pune, India, and had hardly even worked with computers until her freshman year of college. Despite this, Sanghvi worked her way into the field of web development during the five years she worked as an engineer for Facebook.
Sanghvi came up with the News Feed feature of Facebook, as well as several other features that allow users different methods for connecting with people and businesses all over the internet. Recently she has founded her own web startup, Cove, a tool that lets people collaborate on projects through the site Dropbox.
I think that Indian culture differs pretty widely from American culture especially concerning women–though technology, entrepeneurship, and IT are some of India’s largest-growing industries now, few women have access to technology, the internet, or a technological education: India’s literacy rate is at 39 percent for women versus 64 percent for men (Women’s Education in India, October 1998). However, as Sanghvi is an example of, more women are getting into tech fields–the number of “women engineers graduating from ITT Bombay has grown from 1.8% in 1972 to 8% in 2005.” (Caroline Simard, Anita Borg Institute).
There may be some slim chance of interviewing Ms. Sanghvi, but it’s very slim, as she lives in San Francisco and seems to be very busy. It might be worth-while to make an attempt at contacting her via email, though, because there aren’t so many resources about her viewpoint on the internet, and I think it would be interesting to find out more.