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Throughout my Duke career, I’ve searched for ways to consolidate my interests in technology with my drive to do social good. I’m a Computer Science major and growing up surrounded by rapidly advancing technology has shown me the potential that it holds as an emerging field. I’ve known for a while that I want to use technology to do good for society, but I’ve struggled with conceptualizing what exactly that looks like.


Enter Mirza. Mirza is a startup based in London focused on closing the gender wage gap. They are building out a product that uses Machine Learning to forecast the effects of childbirth and parental leave on expectant parent’s career earnings. As I’ve learned this week, the “motherhood penalty” is one of the largest contributing factors to the gender wage gap, so Mirza is working to help future parents prepare for and minimize its impact.


To begin with, I’ll be working on building out the logic of the decision tree that the program follows to collect information from the user. This past week, I’ve been going over research in the field to educate myself and form a baseline understanding of the gender wage gap and building a model of what the decision tree will look like in Excel before formalizing it in code.


I’m excited to get started on a project that integrates my love of technology with my desire to have social impact. I love Mirza’s approach to tackling the issues they’ve identified, and I can’t wait to work with them more and learn from industry professionals about the best way to use technology for social good. Additionally, the team at Mirza is dedicated to challenging assumptions about childbirth and parenthood and making sure that the product they build doesn’t play into heteronormativity. I definitely have a lot to learn from the team at Mirza, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.