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Meet Deepana Gandhi, Following Her Dreams Up Into Space

Deepana Gandhi is among the small but growing band of women in the aerospace industry, a field that has historically seen few women. 

Deepana Gandhi is among the small but growing band of women in the aerospace industry, a field that has historically seen fewer women. 

Since my childhood, I have watched many science fiction movies avidly. I have also read eagerly, the success stories of the recent Chandrayaan 2 moon mission, an engrossing real-life sci-fi story that uplifts our pride.

When outer space and space exploration are such fascinating subjects, isn’t it even more fascinating to read about the heroes behind them? Deepana Gandhi is one such woman who joined the Flight Dynamics group at Team Indus and is making her way up in this field.

Born and raised in Ooty, Deepana is among the small but growing band of women in the aerospace industry, a field that has historically seen fewer women.  She is an Engineer at the Bengaluru-based Team Indus, the only team from India that was shortlisted for the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize competition. At Team Indus, she develops Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) algorithms for a space mission.

In a discussion around the theme of Equality & Inclusion held at Accenture in June, Deepana as one of the panelists, is seen addressing how things have progressed today, for women to enter into such previously male-dominated workplaces. She mentions how in this particular field, only 14% of Engineers and Technologists in India are women. Yet, she draws hope from the fact that India is changing rapidly, with more women who are doing well in science and space studies.

You can watch the inspiring session below, with change-makers Deepana Gandhi, Dhanya Ravi and Shanthi.

Working in a field that is dominated by men, Deepana is breaking gender stereotypes with her dedication to this field. She believes that innovation can happen only if everyone is given an equal opportunity, regardless of their gender or any other factor.

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During the session, Deepana draws a contrast between the very few role models she had growing up, and how today, there are many more inspiring women in this field.She also observes how the energy and enthusiasm of her female co-workers is tremendous. She believes that women helping women is something that has brought more women into this field.

Deepana happens to be the main focus of a documentary series of 9 short films titled ‘Moon-Shot’, produced by JJ Abrams, co-creator of the TV series ‘Lost’ and Director of last year’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.

Concluding her talk, she quotes her favourite lines by Astronaut Peggy Whitson, “You learn that you are so much more capable than you might imagine or even dream of”. She strongly believes that it’s important to single-mindedly follow one’s dreams, in order to succeed.

Organisations that provide the space for such inspired employees to pursue their dreams equally, are the ones that will race towards Innovation!

In association with Accenture

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About the Author

rashmi gs

I am basically a Software Engineer from Bangalore. I have worked in the IT industry for almost a decade - in India and Singapore. Currently, I am on a career break, rather a "career-switch" - I read more...

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