Gearing Up for a New Era for Women Revolutionizing Tech

Gearing Up for a New Era for Women Revolutionizing Tech

Women now are at leading positions and forefront of significant achievements, irrespective of fields worldwide. Not to mention that women have come a long way and made their names in all areas of life. Indian women, too, have made their names in recent times across sectors.

Talking about the IT field, women represent a meager 26% of our IT workforce, as mentioned in Zinnov-Intel India Gender Diversity Benchmark, reported in 2019. The All-India Survey of Higher Education report said that enrollment of men in engineering and technology-based courses was 71.1 percent, compared to women’s, which was 28.9 percent. This representation difference is attributed to gender prejudices, social conditioning, lack of employment opportunities, biases, etc., and has been some of the hold-back forces for girls in society. Reasons might differ from individual to individual, but the consequences of all these forces are the same – lack of female representation in the technology field.

As per Kaspersky’s ground report of 2021, 56% of the women in IT sectors worldwide agree to have witnessed a positive change in women’s representation and equality in their organization in the last two years. Their report also describes how the work-from-home culture has helped women improve their tech profession after becoming more hospitable for women employees. With a consistent change like this, we will undoubtedly have an equal and prosperous place for both genders in the tech space soon.

The world amid Covid-19 and beyond for women

The world that we live and work in today is remarkably different from the one we lived and experienced a couple of years ago. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought radical changes to how people work.

A snowball effect needs to happen across notions of employment, working patterns, role bifurcation, representation, and education. However, there have been several other encouraging signs in the past two years. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, positive changes have been adopted by many organizations. Women have felt a paradigm shift in their employers’ attitudes towards them and have seen tangible progression in female IT leaders entering the tech sector.

In 2010, parents appreciated when Mattel announced that its iconic Barbie would have a new career as a computer scientist—becoming a role model for young girls. Today we have real, home-grown role models.

Technology as a sector must continue this encouraging momentum for women working in IT, from home, in a more efficient and unhindered norm. Numerous surveys over the years have filed the under-representation of women in the tech industry. Representation matters, which is why it is significant to celebrate women leaders in powerful positions with their achievements, inspire other women who aspire to become successful like them, and make a name in the tech industry.

Here’s our pick of a few such empowered change-makers who have shattered the glass ceiling and have led from the front when the tech seems to be male-dominated:

• Reshma Saujani, Politician and Founder, Girls Who Code

“Girls are raised to be perfect; boys are raised to be brave. Because of this, we forget how to speak for ourselves. Bravery is a muscle you gotta keep exercising,” Saujani at a 2016 TED Talk.

A graduate of Yale Law School, Reshma Saujani began her career as an attorney and activist. She became the first Indian American woman to run for US Congress in 2010. Saujani’s most successful project started on the campaign trail when she noticed the gender gap in computing classes. “To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population,” were her wordings. This motivated her to start “Girls Who Code,” a non-profit organization that empowers women in the tech world.

• Deepa Madhavan, Director, Enterprise Data Services, Paypal

“I know the struggle because I traversed the same journey.” Says Deepa. A mother of 3, she champions initiatives like ‘Girls in Tech’ and ‘Unity.’
PayPal holds a women’s affinity group that helps women network, build leadership skills and find mentorship.

Founded in 2007, the mission of Unity affinity group is to help women thrive, give them growth opportunities, and help the next-gen explore the world of technology. Unity is present in 35 PayPal locations across the globe.

• Debjani Ghosh, Delhi President, NASSCOM

“Gender diversity is an imperative for the success of any business and not just a woman-centric conversation.” Debjani also adds, “As we rapidly pace towards automation, cultivation of technological skills coupled with soft skills will give women an edge over machines.”

Miss Ghosh is the first woman to lead tech giant Intel India, MAIT (Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology), and now NASSCOM. She strongly advocates equal representation and gender diversity in Indian companies.

• Ashni Dwarkadas, Mumbai Co-founder, Hackberry:

“Coding involves analytical thinking, design, and entrepreneurship, and connects kids to teach positively, to create and innovate.”

That’s why, after her MBA from Carnegie Mellon and Ashni co-founded Hackberry. A coding workshop for 5 to 15-year-olds teaches coding in a playful manner with games and activities.

• Geetha Kannan, MD, Anitab.org India:

“The needle hasn’t shifted much. We are fighting something much larger than ourselves. We have to overcome a lot of unconscious bias—it’s not the individual and organization anymore, but also society. How do you take a brush and change society?” Says Geetha Kannan on gender equality in the Indian tech-space.

Anitab.org is a not-for-profit company that focuses on advancing women’s careers in technology. It works with technologists in more than 80 countries and is partnered with academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies worldwide. Anitab.org organizes an annual conference, ‘Grace Hopper Celebration”, to empower Women in Tech. This event is named after American computer scientist Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer programming.

We have spoken a lot in our earlier talks about diversity, inclusion, and gender equality. Now, it’s high time to think about how we engage more women, retain them and create an inclusive workspace in the tech space.

WRITTEN BY

Anamika Bhartiya

Anamika is a #bibliophile and #pensmith who loves to write & doodle immensely! She is a #contentmarketer who leverages the power of words to explain anything & almost everything through wordplay. She holds a post-graduate degree in Journalism from Jamia Millia Islamia University. Read more
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