Women in tech: thrive or survive
Women are superheroes in their own right. From juggling and prioritizing domestic responsibilities to inspiring girls to follow in their footsteps, women in technology have indeed come a long way. The journey of these tech women serves as an inspiration for many more women who want to enter the workforce. Their actions and hard work have improved the status of women in the tech industry.
Compared to earlier times, more women are enrolling in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses today. Over the years, women have freed themselves from the stereotypes and have made a place for themselves in the growing industry. The IT industry plays a key role in the country’s GDP as well as the employment rate.
In India, the number of women working in the tech business has grown over the years. As per a study titled ‘Women in Tech: India Leads the Way,’ the employment rate of women in the IT sector in India has increased dramatically over the last decade, with more than 30% of employees now being female – a stark contrast to the decline in women’s involvement in IT in many Western countries.
In this twenty-first century, a gender-diverse workplace is a must for the growth of a company. Many big wizards like Zomato, Uber, Google, and Flipkart are trying to understand cultural norms and create a suitable environment for women. A study found that companies with at least 10% women on their boards of directors have 2.5–5% higher returns on equity, and those with at least 30% women in the C-Suite have 15% higher profitability (Raghuram et al. 2017).
Furthermore, new start-ups like JobsForHer and Sheroes, founded by and for women, have made it easier to re-enter the workforce and provide platforms that are geared toward women. Sairee Chahal’s Sheroes is a platform designed for women to discuss their jobs, health, and other topics. They provide women mentorship, tools, and a variety of opportunities. Neha Bagaria’s JobsForHer is a platform for Indian women to start, revive, and grow in their careers.
Many women, like ourselves, are adjusting to a new way of life. We’re converting our homes into pre-schools, daycares and doing everything we can to ensure that our children, spouses, and parents are safe and supported. The ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic is transforming our lives in ways we don’t fully comprehend, and if not careful, will end up straining ourselves. This is specifically true for women who are currently shuffling who are multitasking with several job titles.
As you read this, please take a moment to think about it with all honesty. I’m guessing that many of you believe you can’t have it all. So, even though society plays a major role in gendering the tech industry, we women are equally responsible for upholding the bro-code alive.
This necessitates additional consideration in terms of re-engineering ourselves. How? By continually challenging our perceptions and pushing our limits.
Here are certain things you can do.
- Don’t underestimate your own significance and your achievements:
Women are frequently asked to work in the shadows of their husbands, partners, children, and other family members. Their accomplishments always take a backseat. The sad part is women do it willingly. They are shy to promote their plans or tasks and restrain themselves as they don’t want to appear timid or are afraid of being judged negatively. Be the frontrunner….!!! It’s about time you make this change.
- Creating your brand
Women are amazing at building relationships, but they are often hesitant about leveraging as they don’t want to be considered someone who “uses” these relationships to get what they want. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with it. Allies and networks are important sources of visibility in a company. Though it’s important to focus on building expertise or doing a great job, women should also make sure they have enough time to build a strong ally network and use it to create and promote their brand.
- Share and Ask
Your opinions are significant, your inquiries are valid, and your concerns are legitimate. They should be discussed frequently. You will not be heard if you do not speak up. If you don’t be heard, your climb to the top will be even more difficult.
- Building up the Emotional IQ
As a woman, you are frequently judged on your emotional intelligence rather than your results alone. Remember the movie Interstellar, where Anne Hathaway is continuously mocked despite being an astronaut when she advises the crew to go to Planet Edmund for love. It didn’t matter that she was right in the end. Lesson – Prepare your arguments ahead of time, especially for key meetings, and back them up with proper facts and information, as well as having your emotional quotient that will keep your views unique.
- Never compromise on your values.
Never place your values on the line. Focus on staying true to your values at both home and work will make you feel more at ease and, in the long run, will help you advance as people will realize that you are someone who understands who they are and who stands with their beliefs.
The excess emotional labour that women carry is difficult and not simple, especially when she is outnumbered. If there’s one industry that can lead the way in gender diversity, it’s the tech industry. Things will change once women are represented in equal numbers in leadership positions and board meetings. But we must get there first.