In the male dominated world of technology, women are still a minority. Here’s why it’s high time that changed. By Satyaki Sarkar
According to a 2015 NASSCOM report, 34 per cent of the IT workforce in India is female. That’s enough to get one’s hopes up and believe that gender equality might not be that far away in the tech space. But if you look a little further, the reality isn’t so comforting. The Anita Borg Institute India says that despite this number, almost 50 per cent of women in tech leave their employment at junior or mid-level. That’s a high attrition rate, because more often than not, women face deep-seated societal prejudices and unequal treatment in the workspace, be it in the form of recognition, remuneration, or opportunities. Not only is this unjust and unfair, it could be one of the major reasons that the technology sector might be losing out on a skilled, dedicated workforce. Here are four reasons why corporates and technology leaders should step up to the plate and launch initiatives to encourage more women in the tech space.
1. Vast untapped potential
Technology is one of the largest sectors and a rapidly growing industry. There is a huge demand for skilled professionals who can lead and create revolutionary innovations. Taking this into account, the fact that the talents and potential of such a large part of the population remain completely unutilised and undiscovered is harming the industry. Women have been some of the most path-breaking pioneers in technology, proving beyond a doubt that they have just as much, if not more of a technological acumen.
2. Setting an example
To date, women still face societal and cultural barriers that hold them back from working shoulder to shoulder with men in the workforce. As a result, many young, talented women with a potentially dazzling future in technology become discouraged and end up not following their dreams. Having more women leaders in the technology sector will not only benefit the industry, but also inspire more women to break free of societal prejudices and successfully pursue promising careers in IT.
3. Increase in perspectives and ideas
It has long been proven that innovation occurs when a number of brilliant minds are put together. Having more women in the sector will lead to a diverse and varied workforce comprising of countless individuals, each with their own perspectives, thoughts and ideas, which, when pitted together, can lead to unexpected results and solutions to previously unsolvable problems. In addition to that, the diversity will also help the industry work environment become more balanced, engaging and fair, encouraging competition and helping improve productivity.
4. More tailored products
The number of women using technology via the latest gadgets, apps, and tools, can easily rival the number of male users. And as such, technology needs to cater equally to them as well. In the male-dominated world of technology, most products and services are built by and for men, with very little emphasis being placed on the vast female users. Having more women professionals in the industry would lead to a more balanced workforce that would provide unique insights into the needs and preferences of a vast user base that has so far been ignored. This would, in turn, massively improve the prospects and performance of the products and services offered.