Women technologists come to the fore

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SummaryEleven years back when I entered the Information Technology field, I rarely used to see women around.

the field in large numbers,” said Jagruti S. Bhikha, director, Grace Hopper Celebration, India, an event that promotes increased women participation of women.

Participation in conferences, seeing more women, interacting with more women, raise the confidence levels helping more women to come forward. “I am sure all them will gain immensely from the exposure at conferences like this will generate for women,” said Chitra Rajan, a finalist at the Grace Hopper Conference Women Entrpreneur Quest event.

“Role models is what women need. We also need keep people who are there only then they will grow big enough to be role models,” said Rebecca Parsons, chief technology officer, ThoughtWorks. “Kids decide about the choices mostly when they are in early teens. If you go on telling them that they are not good in maths or science they will be discouraged to choose those fields,” added Parsons. “More than any other field, IT is more accepting. If you get a foot in and accepted by peers that gives that larger sort of impetus., It always helps that ,” added Mohan of Yahoo.

Internally at companies, the effort is on building the required support system such as a day care facility, flexible work hours and counseling services to our women employees who want to pursue their career despite the challenges in their personal lives. And more importantly as the moral values change men are more and more taking equal responsibilities in terms of household chores and taking care of kids.

For instance, the crèche facility at MindTree, an IT company, is used more by male employees than women. Companies also have forums like the Girl Geek Dinner at Yahoo! India which are designed to enable women technologists to maximise their potential, network and leverage the community to succeed.

“India has changed dramatically. That technology also provide them opportunity to socialise is a realisation which helped women participation in technology a big fillip,” said Telle Whitney, CEO and president of Anita Borg Institute of Women in Technology.

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