A&S student creates platform for female empowerment

When Maya Frai ‘20 found out about the #MeToo movement this past year, she had a hard time keeping up with all the stories that were coming out. To make sure these stories stayed on top of people’s minds she came up with “Let’s Hear It,” a female empowerment platform and publication that amplifies the voices of women.

“I initially envisioned ‘Let’s Hear It’ as a platform to highlight the stories of women who were victims of sexual harassment after reading many published stories about women in various industries coming together during the #MeToo movement,” she said.

As she developed the platform, Frai discovered that women face many different kinds of discrimination.

“Women are experiencing discrimination both mentally and physically, which negatively affects their career progression, negotiating abilities and overall confidence,” said Frai, an information science major. “I wanted to make sure that I highlight all the ways in which women are taking action to change the current landscape and empower each other.”

The platform, launched three months ago, has evolved into an online space for women to share advice, insights and valuable career guidance. The platform features articles on Rose Yao, director of product at Google and Susan Fowler, a New York Times columnist and former software engineer at Uber. Frai also has plans to interview female leaders at Facebook about their work and careers.

“The main goal for the platform is to keep readers updated on the groundbreaking women who are challenging the stigma in any industry, and to never let their stories stay unnoticed,” Frai said., adding that she hopes to bring female speakers to campus and bring in more students to the community being built through the platform.

Frai said her major challenges her to think about the many ways in which technology can impact the world and make it more inclusive. On campus, Frai is the vice president of Women in Computing at Cornell and a co-founder of Backyard, a community program for side projects at Cornell

“Through my involvements, I have realized that creating a community for women to openly talk about their interests, career goals and projects can do an incredible amount for motivating more women to follow through in their pursuit of a career in the technology industry.”

Over the summer, Frai interned at Facebook on their business platform team.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the women I have gotten the chance to interview thus far,” Frai said. “and I hope to push forward the publication as a way to share stories of women who I know will inspire others.”

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a communications assistant for the College of Arts & Sciences.

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 A&S student creates platform for female empowerment