Tanishka Mistry Proves Her Worth in a Male Dominated Club

Tanishka Mistry engineers her robot.

Tanishka Mistry engineers her robot.

In her second year of robotics, Tanishka Mistry hopes to prove people wrong when they say that girls can’t be scientists.

“The only reason I joined in the beginning was because my friend was doing it, but now it’s like my second home,” she said. Mistry, one of the only two girls in robotics, says that the club has become her release from an overwhelming day at school, and her only free time to be creative.

Upon joining robotics, she found that she didn’t know very much about electronic engineering or computer science, and found herself struggling to get things right, especially when coding her first robot. “It’s hard because I put so much effort into it, but I didn’t get to show that at our competition last year.”

Being in a group with very few girls, Tanishka felt lost, and often felt like her work was pushed to the side by some of her male teammates. “It’s not like they were mean to me, but sometimes they would just act like my work wasn’t as important as theirs.”

She also found herself worrying constantly about what other people thought about her being in robotics. “When I first joined, I remember people saying how stupid girls in robotics was, and it made it hard for me to not care.”

Even though it wasn’t easy at first, Mistry has been using this year as a new opportunity. “I always felt like I had to prove myself because society puts so much pressure on everyone to be perfect. But then I remembered that failure actually motivates me to do better, and now I know what I’m doing.”

By joining robotics and confronting all that came with it, Mistry noticed that she had the power to change her role on the team.  “I know people hear the saying, “believe in yourself and you can achieve anything” and they are like, yeah, whatever. But it really works.” She decided to change her perspective, and focus on what she can contribute to her team. “Now it’s amazing because I have this confidence… and robotics is what helped me find it.