On the occasion of Women’s Day, women from the technology domain speak about their experiences and how to make things better for women professionals in the industry.
Women face both internal and external problems—Anju Beniwal, Program Manager at AmdocsShow Full Article
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Prior to my current role as Program Manager for one of Amdocs’ biggest accounts, I was leading the Managed Information Systems team in India, managing over 250 tech professionals, men and women. Being part of the tech industry for the last 19 years, I can confidently say that diverse teams outperform. Having a gender-diverse team is not just ‘the right thing to do’—it also leads to better business results with women’s attention to detail, zeal to learn new ways of doing things efficiently and effectively, and their ability to be process-oriented and excel in collaborative environments. Problems that women face in tech roles are twofold. One is internal as they hold themselves back—from participating in technical discussions assuming that they will not make sense or that their view will not be taken seriously, or even from applying to new roles until they feel they are 100% ready. Second is external, where due to unconscious bias, women are not included or given opportunities, assuming it is not their core expertise area.Tips to get more women in tech: The key here is visible accountability at the leadership level for an organizational culture of inclusion. Change should be systemic and intentional—starting with new hires, all the way to personal growth and internal progressions. One tip that everyone can start with could be the +1’ tip: “add just one more woman to your team/management”. We must also make women who have been successful in tech into internal role models, as well as mentor and guide young girls from school and college days to broaden their view so that they do not consider tech as a domain for men only.
Increasing number of success stories—Akshita Gupta, Co-Founder and CMO of ABL Workspaces
Specifically in India, the increasing number of success stories of women entrepreneurs highlight how women are now breaking stereotypes when it comes to entrepreneurship. I firmly believe that every woman should have a dream and determination to achieve the same. More and more people are now realising the potential of a women with their unique qualities like ability to multitask, being more patient than men, making them the perfect business leaders. Running a business for the last 3 years have taught me a lot of things, but one most important learning for me has been to be persistent and focused on our goal even when society pressurizes us. I also believe that this will be my one advice for my peers who are trying to make their mark in this male-dominated industry”
We have just 26% female representation in tech roles—Neha Sanjay, Head of Marketing, Esper
Around the world and through the decades, we have all shared the struggles of Gender Equality. Gender Equality is an apt theme for IWD 2020 and is particularly relevant for a country like India. Gender inequality is not a woman’s issue, but an economic one. It is crucial in ensuring the smooth progress of every industry and sector. According to the Zinnov-Intel India Gender Diversity Benchmark report released last year, India has merely 26% female representation in technical roles at corporates across the country. This statistic may be a reminder of the gender disparity in the industry, however, it is also indicative of the scope of opportunities for women disruptors in this space. Brands and workplaces need to focus on taking on the role of an enabler in this regard. At Esper, we believe that Gender Equality has to be designed deliberately at the workplace. Keeping this in mind, we are making efforts to ensure gender diversity through initiatives like hiring more women at all levels, and offering them upskilling and leadership programmes as well as flexibility at work.
STEM Gender gap a huge challenge—Emily Glassberg Sands, Senior Director of Data Science, Coursera
I’ve had a fantastic run in this industry that promises to hold the key to the future. My tryst with using data to make the world a more equitable place started at a young age. In college, I tackled observational and experimental studies of gender discrimination in playwriting. In graduate school, I ran a series of field experiments to understand why firms hire so prominently from referrals. Today, I am excited to be working with an organization that genuinely aims to solve one of the world’s most critical issues–access to education–through technology. What better way to level the playing field? Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have the support of the people around me. Today, there is a definite shift in women’s participation in tech roles, and the status quo has changed. However, the gender gap in STEM is a huge challenge. At Coursera, we are committed to continuing to pursue research and product innovations that make people of all backgrounds feel included and motivated to reach their goals. The landscape is evolving, and I see a lot more younger women pursue computer science. Subjects like analytics and data science are being taken up by more and more women, and it’s inspiring to see the impact they’re having in the field.
Culture of bias repels true talent—Sahiba Singh, Chief People Officer, Acuver Consulting Private Limited
The technological era is ultimately about maximizing human potential. In these ultra-competitive times, a culture of bias repels true talent and compromises all scope of organizational growth. At Acuver, we truly believe that we stand invincible on the foundation of equality. Here true equality is not just an idea but everyday actions of providing for everyone’s unique needs and trusting everyone with the freedom to design their own success roadmap. In serving as a springboard for every employee’s professional development, whether men or women, we ensure a win-win for our people as well as the organization.
We have come a long way—Laisha Wadhwa, Microsoft Student Partner & Software Development Intern at Couture.Ai
I was passionate to take up a career in the technology field ever since I was introduced to coding and it has been an eventful journey so far. The field of technology has provided me a plethora of opportunities to challenge my capabilities, enhance my skill set, use the technology for social good and helped me network with amazing people across the world. We have come a long way and now there are many opportunities for women in and around the tech industry. Things are changing slowly for women in various industries. There’s more diversity at workplaces and many more opportunities for women in tech like me. I always try to encourage more of my female friends to participate in competitions and compete on a fair ground where your talent speaks for you. I got such an opportunity when I participated in Icertis’ AI, ML and Blockchain Hackathon. We were the only all-women team at the hackathon and we won the 3rd prize where we created a blockchain solution for farmers.
Women are not getting the right exposure—Brinditha Rai Nalka, Business Unit Head, Brillio
With over 18+ years of experience, I currently lead a team of exceptional professionals as a Business Unit Head within the Analytics Practice at Brillio. Our focus is to deliver exceptional work for our clients in an agile way. We work on some of the most cutting-edge technologies in the Data, AI & ML space. I support enterprises using data and analytics to drive value and enable them to achieve their digital transformation goals. We run on the philosophy of having an “unreasonable focus” on client success. In my career I’ve worked in industries such as financial services, consumer products, and retailing. A career milestone that I’m proud of is when last year; I got recognized by Analytics India Magazine in their “Women in AI leadership” category. The data and analytics space is constantly evolving. One needs to keep up with the pace and constantly upskill themselves to be market relevant. In the past few years, I have consciously tried to steer towards embracing more technology centric- roles. Moving to Brillio has helped me achieve this. Here we have the opportunity to work on the latest technologies and partner our customers in solving complex data engineering problems to aid them in derive insights that inform their key business decisions. Women are not getting the right exposure and forum to learn and start their successful tech journey, despite their interest. But brands like Brillio are transforming the industry and giving women equal opportunities. The needle is moving slowly but surely in the right direction. My advice to all woman techies would be to persevere and never give up, follow your personal and professional goals!
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