Women in tech: Balancing scales in India’s workforce

A report by the Boston Consulting Group showed that diversity in leadership teams results in better innovation and improved financial performance

The I.T. industry, once perceived as a male-dominated sector, is rapidly becoming a desirable industry for women globally, including India. Reportedly[1], India has more female STEM graduates than major economies such as the US, UK, France, or Germany. However, while gender parity is at 50:50 in STEM, the number of women in actual job roles declines from the bullpen to the boardroom. Reports indicate that only 25% of women hold management positions, with less than 1% in the C-suite. These numbers are concerning, and there is a long way to go in achieving gender equality in India’s Tech Workforce.

The world’s first female crash test dummy is a significant example of why diversity in the workforce is essential in the fields of technology and engineering. A general opinion is that perhaps countless women and children would not have been at risk if women were part of engineering R&D teams. Inventing innovative solutions and solving complex problems demands a diverse range of thinking and ideas, equally contributed by both genders. A report by the Boston Consulting Group showed that diversity in leadership teams results in better innovation and improved financial performance.

How do we achieve Gender Neutrality in Tech?

Besides continuously encouraging and supporting young girls and women to pursue careers in STEM fields, there are many initiatives business leaders can engage in to achieve gender neutrality in the fields of technology.

  • Diverse Work Culture – Diverse teams and inclusive cultures promote creative breakthroughs and lead to higher individual performance, with all employees being more engaged and motivated. To better understand their customers and unlock innovation across the board, businesses must attract talent from a diverse pool, embracing different backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences.
  • Learning for Growth – Consistent learning and recognition ensure that the workforce keeps enhancing performance that supports both people and business growth. For instance, online soft and hard skills training sessions, imaginative rewards and benefits, tailored learning and development programs, workshops, coaching sessions, international mobility opportunities, etc., can go a long way in levelling the playing field.
  • Equal Opportunities – From regularly reviewing selection processes for bias to ensuring that job offers are gender-neutral, business leaders must continue to build a workplace with equal opportunities for all employees. Organisations must also closely monitor remuneration processes for gender bias. Cross-mentoring and lateral promotion programs can further empower women in the workplace.
  • Encouraging young girls to undertake careers in STEM – It is crucial to start reaching out to young girls early in their education through schools and campuses to inspire them towards a path of STEM that offers boundless opportunities.  We recently participated in Girls in Aviation, an event hosted by the Women in Aviation Society in Singapore that gave us the opportunity to interact with girls aged 8–14 and show them the exciting world of aviation and the wonderful opportunities it provides.
Shalini Nair Kumar
Head of People and Culture,
India and Asia Pacific, Amadeus

Women in the workforce are bringing about significant changes by breaking gender biases and stereotypes. While the tech industry is predominantly male-dominated, organisations are inching forward to maintain a gender-neutral and inclusive workplace environment, by introducing various initiatives such as women empowerment, skill development, the LGBTQIA+ community and their welfare, and helping people with disabilities blend in, apart from assisting them in finding relevant opportunities. We all have a role to play in levelling the field for a gender-neutral technology industry. We strive to constantly uphold this at our company through various programs like UDAAN – our women returnship program, a women in tech mentoring program, an active women’s support network across Asia Pacific and most importantly, gender neutral policies across the board.

Reference [1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-has-more-women-stem-grads-than-us-uk-or-france/articleshow/84571128.cms

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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