In April 2020, writing for UN Women,a then 11-year-old Samaira Mehta put up a very valid argument about why we need to urgently hear what children and young adults have to say about everything from global policies and trends to national ones. My entire generation and the generations to come have a really important role in these conversations because we have new perspectives and new ideas, she wrote. During our conversation with her recently, this valuable perspective from a changemaker of today and tomorrow became clearer.Mehta, a second-generation American immigrant who is now all of 14 years, has already shown herself to be a young achiever with a vision to change the world for the better. At six, she started learning how to code after her father played a prank on her. By the age of seven, she had already created a board game called CoderBunnyz to make learning code fun for kids her age. Now, shes not only the CEO of CoderBunnyz and has invented two more board gamesCoderMinz and CoderMarzbut also runs the initiative called Yes, One Billion Kids Can Code (https://www.yesonebillionkidscancode.org/) to reach out to children across the world. As the youngest CEO of a Silicon Valley-based coding start-up, her story can not only inspire young women aspiring for a career in STEM, but women of all ages hoping to make their mark in the field of tech innovation and entrepreneurship.Coding Is A SuperpowerLike every kid out there, Mehta has multiple interests. She loves swimming, playing board games with her family and friends, and yet, coding has been a pet passion for her throughout. Learning how to code, she believes, is like having a superpower that will help you all through life. I know that not everyone is going to choose to become a professional coder when they grow up, but I believe that a basic coding understanding will make them better thinkers and better problem-solvers in whatever they choose to go ahead and do in their lives, she says.However, she knows first-hand that coding is not something everyone thinks of as a fun activityher friends were initially reluctant about it, which inspired her to create the board games as a method of teaching kids coding skills. Being a kid herself was the biggest perk she had when she started making board games. I understood what my friends at the time liked, I understood what we, as kids, like and enjoy, she explains, adding that the real ins-and-outs of the game adheres to stories and activities that a six- or seven-year-old could connect to.With coding, robotics, computer science and technology as her main interest areas, Mehta is also looking at a new direction now: Law. The reason is simple. Mehta wants to be the President of the United States of America one day, and studying Law can truly help her get there (most US Presidents have had a career in Law). And yet, she believes a background in STEM can give her a unique perspective and experience set when she does pursue the path to presidency.Paving The Way For Girls In STEMWhen it comes to the presence of women in STEM, Mehta believes the time for change is now. We need women, now more than ever, she insists, adding that this is not some sort of suggestion but something thats urgently required. Creativity, compassion and collaboration are three qualities, she explains, women have spades of and these can help them excel in STEM fields. But what about the barriers women face, even in this day and age, when they aspire to enter STEM fields? Mehta says these are primarily because of the existing societal gender biases, which we have to collaborate to change globally.A key part of this bias, she explains repeatedly, is in the way girls are conditioned from a very young age through something as joyful and playful as toys. Walking down the girls aisle in the toy section in a store anywhere in the world, youre more likely to find dolls, kitchen sets and princesses, while the boys aisle is packed with interactive games, construction kits, etc. This can make any girl question if she is only supposed to stay limited to the girly stuff, and the STEM fields are not for her at all. Identifying this problem, Mehta decided to initiate change by creating her board games. My goal is to help girls learn from a very young age that computer science and robotics and STEM, this is something that they too can do if they choose to, she says.Drawing Inspiration And Inspiring In TurnSo, where does this talented teenager draw inspiration from? Apart from her parents and grandmother, she says the woman in STEM whose story she finds most inspiring is Ada Lovelace, the 19th Century British Mathematician who is now credited to have invented coding. Seeing a woman literally invent code, that in itself is so inspirational! It wasnt a man who created coding, it was women! If women could do such cool things back in the 1800s, then now, in the present, we can do even better and even bigger things, she exclaims.From getting inspired to becoming an inspiring woman today, Mehta has come a long way and hopes to go a long way ahead. For girls and women walking the same road as her in STEM fields, Mehta suggests they listen to their own gut and follow their passion instead of listening to what the world, with its gender bias, has to say. Yeah, you will be put down. Some people will try to disregard you or disregard your opinion. But the important thing is to never listen to them, she says. It's to keep going. And once you truly believe you have a passion for something, don't let somebody else, don't let anybody else tell you what you can or cannot achieve, because only you place the limit to what you want to achieve. Only you can place your own barriers.