This decade has witnessed the boom of the tech industry more than ever. The exponential change has been a combination of various elements like hiring packages (remember the additional benefits), commendable rise in women employees joining the industry or the growing dependence on everything tech!
In a recent report by NASSCOM, it was noted that women’s representation in the tech industry in India lies at 36%. The report also said that there are over 1.8 million women in the workforce and 2 lakh were hired during this financial year (report).
As an industry we need to normalise the notion of women employed in the technology sector. It’s probably that simple and at the same time, maybe not. But then we all know ‘change is the only constant’ and everyone needs to make a difference.
Be future-forward when planning tech leadership
Deloitte Global predicts that large global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022, up slightly more than 2 percentage points from 2019 (report).
Infact we are witnessing huge technology companies committing to improving gender diversity and ensuring growth for women in the leadership ranks. This change is what will speak to the future employees, making hiring and retention across the board far more sustainable.
Now is an opportune moment to educate the current and future tech leaders on the need for Diversity at top, or simply put the unbeatable need to have women in Tech Leadership roles. Put some best practices in place, such as educate women early in their career about a growth path in Tech Leadership, launch mentoring programs, build men as allies to this change, offer upskilling opportunities – to begin with.
The need of the hour is to become advocates of talent over gender and capability over consideration and reimagine a culture that encourages women to grow and prosper.
Rewards and Recognition
Companies should recognise an individual’s true potential by enabling access to information, irrespective of their gender. Technology creates impact and makes connectivity a reality. Thus, it's pertinent for us to applaud the individuals who are working tirelessly to move the pieces in the right direction.
However, addressing biases does not imply hiring a woman just to meet a diversity quota or settle for a less competent candidate. It implies that we must be aware of any hidden bias. The overall goal is to establish a culture in which looking for suitable women employees becomes second nature. And that’s why one should utilise the “Rewards & Recognition” program to celebrate employees who have made a desirable change.
Breaking down the psychological barriers
Psychological barriers or Unconscious Bias is deep-rooted, which makes change on a large scale, difficult. We probably need to begin with how we speak and express our thoughts about employees (and specific genders). From the terminology we use to redesigning the conditioning cycle in the elementary years, we must go back to basics and examine the gaps.
Biases can be removed from the root by methodically re-examining how we might remove gender as a parameter. We need to intervene at every stage of the way, from schools, universities, job advertising, and interviews to skilling and organisational rules, to make Tech an appealing field for both – women and men.
While many progressive organisations have diversity efforts in place, it is critical that they endeavour to reimagine their culture by instilling inclusivity and openness as a fundamental characteristic of the organisation's ethos, rather than a tick in the box.
Sustenance is the key to success
Mentorship plays an important role in the development and building a better growth path (for any career). It's critical to enable opportunities or platforms where women could join networks and organisations that may help them broaden their horizons, drive change, raise their voices, and learn from their peers. Women must write, speak, and share their problems and accomplishments with other women to inspire and push them to carve out their own niche.
The pandemic was a perfect example of levelling the playing field, with organisations and leaders succeeding only because they prioritised agility, empathy, diversity and inclusion. And let these lessons become a life-long realisation!