TCS Sustainathon Encourages Students in Malaysia to Build Solutions that Bridge Gender Gap in STEM

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In its 2nd edition, the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2024 drew participation from 204 students from 30 Universities and Colleges, who proposed unique solutions to increase the representation of women in STEM


MUMBAI, INDIA / KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – Media OutReach Newswire – 8 April 2024 – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) announced the winners of TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2024, a problem-solving competition that empowers students to find creative solutions to real-world challenges using technology.

Picture 1 - Team VirtuLearn from Brickfields Asia College emerged as the overall winner for their innovative solution on e-textbooks From Left to Right: Rahimah Ali, Head of Group Sustainability of Malaysia Aviation Group; Chow Xin Ying, Claudine Ivancka Netto, Fatima Safiya Fauzy of Team VirtuLearn from Brickfields Asia College; Jeevan Rajoo, Country Head of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS Malaysia) and Dinesh Magandiran, Private Secretary to the Deputy Minister of National Unity during the closing ceremony of TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2024 at the Asia School of Business.
Picture 1 – Team VirtuLearn from Brickfields Asia College emerged as the overall winner for their innovative solution on e-textbooks
From Left to Right: Rahimah Ali, Head of Group Sustainability of Malaysia Aviation Group; Chow Xin Ying, Claudine Ivancka Netto, Fatima Safiya Fauzy of Team VirtuLearn from Brickfields Asia College; Jeevan Rajoo, Country Head of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS Malaysia) and Dinesh Magandiran, Private Secretary to the Deputy Minister of National Unity during the closing ceremony of TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2024 at the Asia School of Business.

Ten finalists proposed their ideas for making the best use of technology to bridge the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and provide women with equal opportunities for growth in these fields. Based on the theme ‘Empowering Women in STEM’, the finalists tackled three challenge statements in their proposals: using technology to enhance the STEM curriculum, promote successful women in STEM as role models and helping women in STEM advance in their careers.

The finale was attended by Senator Saraswathy Kandasami, the Deputy Minister of National Unity, who said, “TCS Malaysia’s contributions to our nation’s growth embody the power of public-private partnerships in driving sustainable development and nation-building. Their dedication to fostering innovation and supporting STEM education aligns perfectly with our national priorities, highlighting the essential role such collaborations play in propelling Malaysia towards a more inclusive and prosperous future. By bringing together diverse talents and fostering an environment where women can thrive in STEM, we are not just empowering individuals, we are strengthening the very fabric of our nation. Such initiatives contribute to building a more inclusive, progressive and united Malaysia – a vision that the government, and specifically the Ministry of National Unity, strives to achieve.”

Students Claudine Ivancka Netto, Chow Xin Ying and Fatima Safiya Fauzy from Brickfields Asia College took home the grand prize for their solution, Team VirtuLearn. Their proposal aimed to transform education through interactive e-textbooks focusing on STEM subjects, to make STEM education more immersive and engaging. This is expected to encourage more female students to develop their interest in the field and join the industry. Team SrikandInTech from Universiti Tenaga Nasional with Aisya Batrisyia Azley, Nur Adilah Zainal Abidin and Mohammed Zaid Ahmed Alshami secured second place. At the third place was Team Grow Your Own STEM from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan with Muslihah Mohd Norhisam, Siti Nor Syafiqah Muhammad Hanafiah and Siti Nur Syafiqah Abd Latif. The winning team was awarded the prize money of RM 10,000, the second and third positions were awarded RM 7,000 and RM 5,000 respectively. In its 2nd edition, the competition attracted 76 proposal submissions from a total of 204 students from 30 universities and colleges across Malaysia.

This year’s theme was an attempt to create awareness among the youth about the gender gap in STEM and encourage them to find solutions to close the gap by leveraging technology. In Malaysia, more than half of the local STEM graduates are women (53.2% in 2021) but men outnumber women in employment, according to research by the Khazanah Research Institute. Only 69% of the women graduates were hired compared to 72% of men. At the leadership level, the challenge is even more acute globally, with women constituting only 19% of board members and 3% of CEOs in STEM companies.

Jeevan Rajoo, Country Head, TCS Malaysia, said, “TCS is committed to supporting youth empowerment by engaging them in nation-building initiatives. The TCS Sustainathon is one such avenue that encourages the youth to ideate solutions that address socioeconomic challenges. Being our future leaders, our youth are well-placed to push the needle on societal progress and achieve the paradigm shift needed to make the STEM field more gender balanced. We are already walking the talk at TCS by having more women in our workforce to elevate innovation, creativity and competitiveness. Research has found that closing the gender gap in the workforce is associated with increased gross domestic product (GDP), labour productivity and socioeconomic development, aside from meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targets such as equitable education and economic opportunities.”

The TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2024 is supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Astro, CelcomDigi, Khazanah Research Institute, Malaysia Aviation Group, Maybank, SEEd.Lab and United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei.

Chow Xin Ying, Team Lead of champions VirtuLearn, said, “We’re delighted to win the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2024. This victory is a wonderful confidence booster. Learning from the mentors really opened our eyes to how we could create more effective results with our idea, and we’re excited to contribute towards closing the STEM gender gap in the future, in our own small way. Women have so much potential to contribute to STEM fields, so we should make full efforts to tap into their talents to improve society. We would also like to thank TCS Malaysia for the cash prize and Malaysia Airlines for the return tickets. We will certainly put these resources to good use.”

The TCS Sustainathon initiative was first launched in Singapore in 2020. Since then, it has gone global, with 12 editions across 10 countries, including Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa and Ireland. The competition provides the youth with opportunities to collaborate with private companies, non-profit organisations and government agencies to co-create solutions. For more information on the TCS Sustainathon Malaysia 2024, please visit https://www.sustainathon.tcsapps.com/events/ongoing/MY2024.

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About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for over 55 years. Its consulting-led, cognitive powered, portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile™ delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development.

A part of the Tata group, India’s largest multinational business group, TCS has over 603,305 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 55 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $27.9 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, and is listed on the BSE and the NSE in India. TCS’ proactive stance on climate change and award-winning work with communities across the world have earned it a place in leading sustainability indices such as the MSCI Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. For more information, visit