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Women in STEM: Women CXO Speak

Women in STEM: Women CXO Speak

Women are effective change agents, and diversity and equality in leadership and decision-making are progressively acknowledged in all walks of life. However, women still make up a very small percentage of those who make decisions in politics, business, and society.As the technology sector makes gradual but steady progress toward closing the gender gap, women in…

Women are effective change agents, and diversity and equality in leadership and decision-making are progressively acknowledged in all walks of life. However, women still make up a very small percentage of those who make decisions in politics, business, and society.

As the technology sector makes gradual but steady progress toward closing the gender gap, women in tech are making gains, with women in leadership making the greatest strides. According to Deloitte Worldwide, large global technology organizations will, on average, have nearly 33% of women working there in 2022, up slightly more than 2 percentage points from 2019.

Opportunity Gaps in STEM

Only 20% of positions worldwide are held by women, according to Women in-Tech data for 2020. India is setting an example for the rest of the world by witnessing a steep 43 percent of women graduate in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), however, women only make up 14% of STEM occupations in India.

“It is incredibly important to encourage young girls to participate in STEM courses during their school years, including learning simple coding skills. Many career possibilities open up in the future for girls with early education in STEM, and this, in turn, helps to ensure more diversity in the industry”, said Leila Pourhashemi, CIO & VP-Technology Business Operations, Blackhawk Network.

Women in STEM: Women CXO Speak

Would we have a Pfizer covid vaccine as fast as we did without the efforts of Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci? The mRNA technology behind it was invented through a 20-year partnership between Drew Weissman and Katalin Kariko. Would either of these inventions have happened without these two women? We are fortunate that they engaged in STEM early and played such a huge part in saving millions of lives.Leila Pourhashemi, CIO & VP-Technology Business Operations, Blackhawk Network

While the technology sector struggles to draw in more women, it has also had trouble keeping those who do. According to the Women In Tech Network, women in STEM careers are much more likely than those who aren’t to leave their jobs within the first year. Lack of ideal role models and major personal sacrifices are two of the driving factors making women leave. Nearly half of these women continue to work at another company using their technical talents.

“India is progressing very fast in terms of women’s participation in STEM which is much better than some of the developed countries. As per the latest reports, nearly 43% of the total graduates getting passed out in STEM streams from India are women, as compared to the United States, Canada, and the UK, where there are fewer women STEM participants– 34%, 31%, and 38%. Yet, even when women get STEM degrees, many do not pursue STEM jobs”, observes Jijy Oommen, CTO, CIO, Aavas Financiers Ltd.

In a male-dominated setting, it might be intimidating for women to speak up or be talked over by others; this is where management and its training are helpful. Businesses should make it a practice to hear everyone at the table rather than just the loudest voices, and managers should encourage employees to speak up.

“Providing flexibility, training, resources, and tools and recognizing the challenges on account of the pandemic will help improve the overall retention of women in the workforce and encourage them to return”, this is what Nisha Popli, CHRO at Cuemath had to say.

Women in STEM: Women CXO Speak

Women need and deserve mentors who can provide career advice and guidance. Creating an active mentorship environment at institutions can help women in STEM feel connected and less isolated.Jijy Oommen, CTO, CIO, Aavas Financiers Ltd

Culture of support for women

With the pandemic, the employment landscape underwent a dramatic and permanent change. Organizations now need to focus on what they can do to help their female employees so that women are motivated and empowered to advance their careers. Most essential, businesses should provide learning and development opportunities to foster a supportive atmosphere where women feel comfortable and appreciated.

“Women tend to underestimate themselves. Always follow the Fly rule – First love yourself. You are awesome. Be confident”, Mansi Thapar, Cyber Security expert.

Organizations should make sure to provide the female workforce with the necessary industry skills as they welcome back the female workforce in order to keep them and draw in new ones. This goes beyond just the business sphere.

“A recent Indeed survey showed that 77% of Indian employers believe that Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging are crucial for organizational performance. Over time, DI&B((Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging) has evolved from a purely altruistic practice to become an intelligent talent strategy”, adds Nishita Lalvani, Director, Indeed India, and SEA.

Older working methods are being increasingly replaced by technology today, and the changes brought on by the pandemic have accelerated the evolution of the labor markets. The developments have made it easier for people to access previously organized and frequently regulated formal employment possibilities, which has led to the growth of the gig economy, particularly in the fields of technology and content creation.

“The age of digitization has opened doors to new possibilities in the technology, security, and innovation spaces. As the world moves towards a dispersed workforce, we must go beyond simply espousing diversity and inclusion. We must tangibly enable individuals to seize better opportunities despite their differences. ”, Malou Toft, VP, APAC, Milestone Systems mentions.

Women in STEM: Women CXO Speak

Synergizing concerted and creative new virtual solutions will add diversified perspectives and proficiencies, leading to greater innovation, creativity, and economic growth of organizations.Malou Toft, VP, APAC, Milestone Systems

Deloitte forecasts that between 2019 and 2022, the proportion of women in the global tech industry has climbed by 6.9%, while their representation in technical positions has increased by 11.7%. Notably, this proportion of women in leadership has seen the largest growth, with an estimated gain of close to 20%.

A lot of major tech firms have publicly pledged to increase the representation of women in technical and leadership roles as well as to improve gender diversity. Additionally, these businesses are stepping up their efforts to promote greater racial, age, and other social diversity in their leadership and workforce.

Women in STEM: Women CXO Speak

Always remember – men and women bring different skills to the table which together create a better organization. Keep the learning curve ticking. Always add skills.Mansi Thapar, Cyber Security expert

It is crucial that women are provided with a safe, secure, comforting, and even more crucially, learning atmosphere because we have observed many women quitting the corporate workforce to choose a more flexible workplace.

There are numerous chances for the sector to recognize these difficulties and apply solutions to close the gaps. Women want and need mentors who can offer career advice and direction. Creating an active mentoring atmosphere at institutions can assist women in STEM in feeling more connected and less alone.

Also Read: Nasscom, Google join hands to empower women entrepreneurs with digital skillset



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