How JPMorgan Chase’s women technologists are empowering India’s rural women
Padmaja Kolle, Rutuja Bhandare, Sanya Shaikh, and Twinkle Dhanak, a group of first-year analysts in JPMorgan Chase’s Software Engineer Program, are leveraging their technology expertise to help underprivileged women to find economic independence.
As part of the JPMorgan Chase Software Engineer Program, the four technologists joined the firm’s internal initiative called Force for Good (FFG), a development programme that aligns teams of JPMorgan Chase technologists with socially focused organisations to build sustainable software solutions to advance the organisation’s missions.
From innovation to impact
This team of four software engineers in Mumbai, led by two experienced technologists, Hetal Thakkar and Rina Naik, were contacted by a volunteer working in Sudhagad Taluka, a rural area 60 miles outside Mumbai, to help a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Sa-Ni-Sa, which works extensively with rural Indian women.
Taking its name from the words Shramik Naari Sangh, which mean hardworking, women, and group, the organisation aims to help its members gain valuable work skills that they can use to support themselves.
Sa-Ni-Sa's workers learn to produce an array of products, including khakhras (wheat-based crackers), handicrafts, body care products, and chocolates, which are sold online and in retail stores in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The profits are handed over to the women as wages.
To continue growing, the organisation needed a digital platform to help sell products, manage inventory, and track orders and dispatches. The all-female FFG team helped build an e-commerce platform to provide inventory tracking, matching and delivery capabilities. In terms of inventory tracking, the tech solution the team built will function much like an online retailer.
Rina says, “It’s very rewarding to help the development and empowerment of so many rural and economically backward women. Because of my contribution through FFG, I feel much more connected to the community which I didn’t find through monetary donations. Hence, I think technology is a great ‘force for good’.”
A career in technology at JPMorgan Chase
The women technologists believe that working at a global financial institution like JPMorgan Chase has given them the chance to work in a highly collaborative environment, with ample opportunities to share knowledge with colleagues; learn from industry experts; and network with 50,000 peers around the world. They say being part of a global technology division is an opportunity to grow professionally, and to use the latest technologies and methodologies to find innovative solutions to real-world challenges.
“I was fortunate to have a great team mentor who helped me solve day-to-day technical issues while encouraging me to take on bigger responsibilities at the start of my career,” says Rutuja.
“Technological solutions provide a feasible way to impact larger communities in a short span of time. We are witnessing rapid and unprecedented growth in technology at JPMorgan Chase today. Contributing to this growth has been an enriching experience for me.” says Padmaja.