Gender diversity and equality are very close to my heart. 70% of female children in my extended family still struggle to move into higher education and instead are encouraged to get married and focus on raising their families. I feel very fortunate to have established the career that I have, and it’s through raising awareness on events such as International Women’s Day and championing diversity initiatives that more women and girls can be given opportunities and choices – more on that in a moment.
But we must continue to encourage more women to consider technology as a viable career option. To do that, we must also provide them with more role models at all levels. We need to spotlight and celebrate women who are already working in tech, and we need to work harder to promote more women to the highest positions in their respective businesses.
Attracting and retaining female talent in the technology industry
At this point, when India is focusing on achieving sustained high growth, the country must increase women’s involvement in the workforce. The advancement of women’s equality has the potential to enhance India’s GDP by US$770 billion by 2025, but it will necessitate significant reform.
Across all regions, the technology industry will most likely continue to shrink the gender gap. According to Deloitte Worldwide report, by 2022, leading global technology enterprises will have approximately 33% female presence in their workforces, up slightly more than 2 percentage points from 2019.
Leaders across industries realize that a varied workforce—by gender, color, age, and other social factors—is excellent for business, based on research indicating that diverse teams perform better and are more inventive. As the tech industry strives to create a bright future for itself, it aspires to be more representative of that future.
As new technologies such as AI, machine learning, cloud, intelligent edge, and 5G revolutionize our lives and workplaces, the true beneficial impact can only be realized when these solutions are planned, developed, and implemented by a broad group of innovators and developers. In this setting, women’s contributions and gender diversity are critical.
The gender gap in technology is a squandered chance for women, society, and businesses. Having a more diverse staff, including an equal gender balance, leads to greater results. This reflects the vast advantages of workplace diversity, from embracing a broader range of society and viewpoints to different ways of thinking through cognitive and emotional intelligence.
MediaKind’s ongoing initiatives
At MediaKind, we value a truly inclusive workplace in which everyone, regardless of gender, feels a genuine feeling of belonging. As the recent International Women’s Day #BreakTheBias campaign demonstrated, it’s also a call to action for accelerating women’s equality in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Every day of the year, we’re responsible for our ideas and behaviors. We can all choose to seek out and applaud the accomplishments of women. And by working together, we can all contribute to a more inclusive world.
Last year, we launched ‘Project Horizon’ to create a powerful coalition of MediaKind champions who would lead initiatives and build awareness around diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity at all levels of our company. This group of voluntary ambassadors has worked to deliver unique educational training, engagement opportunities, and various themed events for our teams worldwide.
Our vision is to attract, develop and retain the best and brightest through a culture of inclusion and belonging, where diversity is valued. At MediaKind, diversity and inclusion go beyond gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, and other established parameters to include diverse experiences, family situations, functional backgrounds, and more. And we have a widespread and deep commitment to this project. When individuals feel respected and are treated fairly, it makes our whole organization stronger.
International Women’s Day 2022
Last month’s International Women’s Day 2022 celebrations in India were aligned with our Project Horizon program and the launch of our new ‘MediaKindness’ Day. This initiative enables MediaKind employees to take off one day a year to participate in a volunteering activity of their choice. Our team in Bangalore decided to coordinate our efforts by visiting one of the city’s most respected non-profitable organizations, Abalashrama offers shelter, protection & rehabilitation, and empowers and educates women through its vision to inspire and transform communities.
It was great to celebrate IWD 2022 and the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment with this group of 65 young women from diverse backgrounds. We want to be role models for future generations of women, which is why I found the opportunity to come together and share each other’s achievements to be so inspiring. The theme of this year was to #BreakTheBias, and each of us took a pledge to raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
Leveling the STEM playing field
To amend the gender ratio in the STEM field, both the education systems and STEM industries need to collaborate. We can start by creating technology teaching modules that teachers can teach in physical classrooms or by virtual means. These should be developed to educate students about the new technologies that directly transform our professional and personal lives. These classes must emphasize how technology can be a force for good, as this will encourage more women to pursue careers in these fields.
But more needs to be done. A survey conducted by the ed-tech firm, Avishkaar – which included 500 parents and 500 children across several major Indian cities – found:
- 50% of parents cited societal pressures as one of the main reasons why girls don’t go into a career in STEM
- 42% felt parents’ influence plays a role when girls choose a STEM career
- Over 30% of parents felt the STEM work environments were more suitable for men than women.
It is not enough to raise knowledge of the technology industry and the prospects available unless all pupils believe a career in technology is within their grasp. Alternative entrance paths into the technology business require a concerted effort from the entire industry. Increased availability of technology apprenticeships, technology businesses cooperating with colleges, and offering shadowing and work experience opportunities at a younger age are all possibilities to consider.