Third Place Winners
Most Ambitious – Candoor
Although we ultimately chose to create our own problem statement, our solution has been partly inspired by problem statement number 11: Create STEM Opportunities for Women. As a team of two women, we are acutely aware of the disadvantages women still face today. An article published by the World Economic Forum in 2019, states that it will take another 108 years to close the gender gap. Additionally, more pertinent to the STEM field, only 22% of AI professionals are women. The article goes on to state that this could be due to a lack of confidence. It is saddening to read these statistics and even more so because it is a reflection of our own lives. Growing up, we sometimes heard remarks along the lines of: “Girls don’t need to study so hard, just find a husband” and “Don’t do a PhD, it will be harder for you to find a husband”. While these remarks are more overt, they give a good example of the social stigmas and biases that often limit women, diminish our confidence and perpetuate challenges that women face in their perceptions of inclusion and participation in STEM settings.
To break this bias, we envision Candoor to be a useful tool. We hope that by facilitating candid conversations and building an inclusive community, we will be able to tear down the walls of uncertainty and give more women the confidence to pursue their dreams. By making this an open community, we are also not just limiting the benefits to women, but to all underrepresented groups.
Social media platforms today, like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, allow us to connect with anyone over the internet. However, based on our own experience, we still find it hard to make meaningful connections with people online through these apps. Who do we reach out to? Is it weird to hit someone up and make a connection request? A simple google search of “Should I accept a stranger’s connection request on LinkedIn?” yields thousands of results, with articles supporting both sides of the argument, and more often than not, taking the middle ground.
Yet, when we really sit down to think about it, what are we really trying to achieve? It is to build a meaningful connection. This is why we came up with Candoor. Every one of us has something valuable to share, be it on a certain topic or skill, an experience or even our perspectives. Every one of us also has something that we want to learn, that we are curious about. Be it a potential new career path, a niche subject or even a new hobby. With Candoor, we hope to facilitate these connections so that people can build meaningful connections with each other. By learning from each other, we can better understand different perspectives, break down barriers, support each other and build a better world together.