Women In Tech: It’s time to nurture women in senior leadership positions

March 25, 2021 2:15 AM

By Supria Dhanda Whilst with the support of IT as backbone and technology being the growth driver, most of the workforce has been transitioned to work remote and business continuity maintained, 2020 has also created a difficult phase for those jobs that cannot be done remotely. It has certainly created new complexities for women professionals […]

Supria Dhanda PortraitSupria Dhanda Portrait

By Supria Dhanda

Whilst with the support of IT as backbone and technology being the growth driver, most of the workforce has been transitioned to work remote and business continuity maintained, 2020 has also created a difficult phase for those jobs that cannot be done remotely. It has certainly created new complexities for women professionals who have had to balance multiple roles as work, child care, elder care and housework.

There have been conversations about bringing more women in technology since decades, and we are seeing the results of it unfold today. There have been important strides made across the technology industry to include more women in the engineering teams and importantly making them an inclusive part of the C-suite.

Whilst there is focus on creating more positions at entry level, we need to find ways to have more women in managerial ladder, which is at 40:60 ratio today broadly with 60 being in favour of men managers. The companies need to strategise and find ways to nurture and grow women in senior leadership positions. Having women part of workforce across all levels, especially C-Suite is key to bring about an inclusive culture and women in leadership positions also serve as excellent role models for those who are looking to be inspired.

So, how do we make our enterprises more inclusive and have more women in technology and leadership roles? I have three main thoughts which I would like to share.

Inclusion and workforce diversity is business imperative
The fundamental aspect is acknowledging we have a problem. Organisations often believe that they are leading people and diversity initiatives and hence this is a sign of doing well. But they rarely look at the numbers and try to understand what’s the ground reality. The fact is that women still face challenges at workplace and over time, leads to them leaving the workplace.

This all comes down to talking strategically and always asking what is not working right and what more can I do – not just for my own employees but also for the larger ecosystem. Young girls need opportunities to ignite their bright minds and follow a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and we must provide our complete focus and support.

Women in leadership
Today, what we need is having more women role models in the technology field to create a community of winners, whom young girls and early career women professionals can look up to. There are many women in senior leadership positions, but they lack the fine visibility and this restricts them from inspiring and nurturing potential talent. While women are entering corporate fields, it is the due diligence of the company and its leadership to help make them stay and grow. It is not going to be that one big thing we do to make a difference, but it’s going to be a series of efforts across the continuum of a women’s life cycle – be it in education, professional and personal life.

Decoding the future of work
2021 and beyond will see emergence of new work models where new blended models of remote and operate from office will emerge. Flexibility, empathy, inclusiveness, agility and collaboration will form the cornerstones of what needs to change. We need an ecosystem that is flexible and empathetic. Building a diverse team in a flexible ecosystem will foster a culture of innovation.

We need to build an inclusive environment for women globally and across all sectors. Leaders need to come together to create an ecosystem where we can converse in a gender-neutral language.

The writer is vice-president and country manager for India, Western Digital

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