Jan 232019
New Book Highlights Women Engineers At Google

Kids have a way of making you question the things you see throughout your life. What seems normal to us, is something that sparks curiosity in their eyes.

Take for instance Google Engineer Komal Singh. Her daughter once proclaimed that only boys are engineers. Of course, this is far from the truth being that her own mother is a Program Manager in Engineering at the popular search engine company.

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Her response was to make create something that would inspire tomorrow’s generation, including her two daughters to see the world a bit differently.

Motherhood Through My Eyes was able to chat with Komal about her book, Ara The Star Engineer The book tackles a problem that’s well known in the tech industry — a need for diversity. Although it’s taken time for others to open their minds to the idea of a female engineer, Komal’s book has given her the confidence to strive for more in her own career.

“Even during the process of writing, I had doubts about putting my name on the book — thinking that as a first-time author, as a minority in tech, it would perhaps be in the book’s best interest to not have my name on it,” she shared in an interview for Motherhood Through My Eyes. “Then it dawned upon me that I had to live the message of the book.”

She continued: “If the book advocates for girls to display ‘courage’ (as an ingredient of the ‘amazing algorithm’), I had to model [that] courage. I had to have faith in my abilities and my capacity to tread the less beaten path and own that path. There was a lot of parallel between the message of the book and my own learning of that message in my personal and professional life.”

As for her thoughts on writing the book, Komal discussed how it opened her inhibitions, giving her the confidence to try out new and impactful things, such as side projects as well as projects in her own career.

One thing that stands out in Komal’s book is how she’s included characters from her workplace. Komal received positive feedback from her colleagues who loved the idea and wanted to support it as much as possible.

For her co-workers, there was a sense of uncertainty whether it would take off. Regardless of their busy work and travel schedules, the women believed in her project and “generously devoted time to interviewing with the book team, sharing personal stories and personal photo albums — helping polish the manuscript.”

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Striving For More Change

Aside from her book, Komal is helping to spread the message for change in the tech industry through personal interactions with her own social circles.

“I always champion for unbiased playing fields for boys and girls, be it through casual conversations, voicing opinions more actively, or making people (and myself) aware of current issues,” Komal explained. “I volunteer on hackathons (as mentor or judge), and share my own career journey and tips with potential mentees and media outlets/blogs in case it helps motivate others.”

The idea of a young female engineer can be inspiring in a child’s eyes. For parents who are trying to show the importance of diversity in other fields, Komal suggests they come up with a “fun/abstract problem statement” and ask kids to “design a product” to solve that problem, individually.

“Once they present their answers or projects, analyze how their gender or cultural backgrounds influence the product design and how this may not be suitable for another person from a different background,” she added. “That is they couldn’t build a product ‘for the world’ because they didn’t have ‘representation’ of the world sample.”

Komal’s book is accompanied by a website with hands-on activity sheets, designed by real-life engineers. There are also pointers to further their learning experience and have immersive experiences (e.g. Google Expeditions and more coming) that families can enjoy with the book.

Ara The Star Engineer is available today at your favorite retailer!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound

Fatima Torres

What's life like with three kids and two pups? It's entertaining, that's for sure! MTME breaks down family fun ideas and shares personal insights from a former B2B editor and digital marketer turned mom running a business and a household -- all under one roof. With her husband as her #1 fan, there isn't anything she can't accomplish. Read on to learn how she breathes in fire and exhales success.


Reader Comments

  1. That sounds amazing to read. I think reading something like this would definitely help girls know what they can do just about anything in their lives a boys can do.

  2. What a cool book! I actually went to the Google HQ outside of San Francisco a few years back to attend a panel on encouraging young girls in exploring the STEM field. It was very interesting!

  3. It would make sense for her to have her name in the book since she is a good example for girls and women to pursue dreams, including becoming an engineer.

  4. This sounds like a great book for any kid. I’m a firm believer that boys benefit from books with strong female characters too.

  5. This sounds like a really cool book. It’s so important to read about women in tech, to teach our kids about women in tech, and to support women in tech.

  6. I love how she’s encouraging more girls to branch out into male dominated professions. We will definitely see more positive growth in the world when more girls explore the fields of science and engineering.

  7. Idea of a young female engineer can be inspiring in a child’s eyes for sure! A woman can do everything she wants at the highest level!

  8. I absolutely love how much that this inspires girls to be whatever they want to be. An engineer is an amazing dream and has so many possibilities!

  9. This is a great book to read. It makes me feel good that women are now more recognized for their talents and abilities. This is going to inspire a lot of girls and young women to strive to be the best they can. Dream without limits!

  10. so awesome that she wrote this book! Girls (and a lot of women!!) need to see that women can do these things and work in these stereotypically male industries. I love it!

  11. I would have loved to be an engineer if I didn’t fear math. Anyway, I am happy to know that there are women who are making their mark in a formerly male dominated field. This book is going to inspire a lot of young girls to reach for their dreams.

  12. As a software engineer myself, I love this! We need to inspire more women into the industry. We are amazing engineers and programmers!

  13. I am all about supporting/inspiring girls and this book sounds amazing. I especially love that it is about a young female engineer – a field that is not always encouraged by parents or some teachers for girls.

  14. My niece would definitely love this for sure! She loves reading books and as this is a girl heroine, she’ll like it more!

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