The technology industry has been working towards removing gender biases over the last decade or so. Although women now make up 34% of the IT workforce in India, women representation in leadership roles still has a long way to go. For entry-level positions, there are a lot of good initiatives that bring women into IT roles. However, the challenge occurs when it comes to women climbing up the career ladder.
Technology has always led the transformation of the workspace, even more so over the last couple of years, with businesses around the world turning to Automation and AI to make their digitalisation journeys efficient and smooth, whilst maintaining customer satisfaction at the highest level.
Despite this increasingly digital environment, the unique combination of a ‘High-Touch, High-Tech’ approach remains a critical business component. Gender equality in the workspace has endless benefits, and bringing more perspectives to a traditionally male-dominated industry can provide the ‘human touch’ needed to make each interaction simpler, faster, safer and more cost-effective.
For this International Women’s Day, there is a need to advocate women representation within the tech industry across all levels.
Here are three simple steps leaders can take to break the gender bias and encourage women into leadership roles:
Making tech attractive for girls from a young age
The discussion around challenging the male stereotype of working in the tech industry has been going on for decades. However, young girls still lack role models to encourage them to pursue their interests and career aspirations in the tech industry. Representation matters and having women role models who young girls can look up to is a crucial step in making tech an attractive career for women. In addition, parents and educators must encourage girls as students to embrace subjects like Maths and Science or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by the time they reach high school.
Addressing the obstacles
In the past few years, the Indian IT industry has made significant progress in helping bridge the gender gap. Although the tech industry has put a lot of effort into addressing all types of diversity, particularly through recruitment, barriers still exist at the more senior levels.
The challenges faced by women in the tech industry are more of a result of bias and a lack of belief in their technical credentials. While this might not seem to be an insurmountable challenge, it has the power to hinder their career. It is important to acknowledge these challenges so companies can become active in creating initiatives and driving positive change.
Upskilling and promoting at the workplace
Diversity and inclusion cannot be limited to a one-time campaign, they are causes requiring continuous work that needs to be developed, sustained and cultivated. To attract more women to the tech field and bring them in at executive level, it’s critical to provide sponsorship and mentorship opportunities for women at all levels.
Organisations need to consistently reinforce and encourage a more inclusive leadership style, always inspiring women to reach new heights. Hiring women employees is not enough on its own, women must be positioned in executive committees and promoted to C-Suite positions by employers to make long-lasting change, with a definite plan for their upskilling and mental wellbeing.
Amit Vohra, Chief Technology Officer at Teleperformance India
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