Pioneering Kazakh Woman Empowers Women in Tech and STEM Accessibilitiy

Zhanat Makhataeva, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence (ISSAI) at Nazarbayev University (NU), is making waves in the world of tech and research. Her journey as a woman in science serves as an inspiration and a testament to the transformative power of inclusion and innovation.

Makhataeva’s passion for science and technology started at a young age, nurtured by her parents who refused to impose stereotypical gender roles on her. This upbringing allowed her to pursue her interests in math and physics without feeling obligated to conform to traditional gender expectations.

Her dedication and talent led her to become the first Kazakh to participate in a research internship at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the United Kingdom. During her 12-week internship, Makhataeva contributed to the development of cognitive assessment systems for blind individuals, showcasing the intersection of technology and accessibility.

Reflecting on her experience at Microsoft Research Cambridge, Makhataeva emphasized the importance of diversity and collaboration in the tech industry. She noted that the environment was truly international and gender-balanced, fostering an atmosphere of innovation and progress.

Looking ahead, Makhataeva envisions a future where technology serves as an equalizer, providing opportunities for individuals with diverse abilities. She believes in creating inclusive technologies that empower every individual, regardless of their abilities.

Makhataeva’s journey serves as a reminder that true innovation thrives in environments where diversity is celebrated and barriers are shattered. As Kazakhstan moves towards the inclusion of women in the ever-evolving realm of tech, her story paves the way for a brighter, more inclusive future, where everyone has a seat at the table and every voice is heard.


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