Empowering women in tech to bridge the gender gap

Bridging the gender gap in technology through education and opportunity

Ascendion May 6, 2024


Ascendion_Blog_AuthorImage_Sangetha shetty
Sangeeta Shetty
Senior Director, HR

The representation of women in tech is less than 3 in 10 people. In 2022, the representation of women in tech was an estimated 27.6%. Last year’s growth rate was just 0.9%, and analysts say this isn’t enough to achieve gender equality any time soon. Studies indicate that gender-diverse teams enhance problem-solving and creativity, leading to better product development.

By prioritizing early technology exposure for girls, we tackle gender disparity in STEM and enhance innovation through diversity. Women, integral to tech’s future, bring essential perspectives, especially in roles like engineering, crucial for addressing global challenges. Encouraging girls in tech from a young age not only supports gender equality but also fuels societal progress worldwide.

Tech is full of amazing careers, not just coding! For those who love puzzles, they can dive into Cybersecurity to protect our digital world. If you’re artistic, imagine designing user experiences (UX/UI) or creating mind-blowing Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. Are you an idea machine? Tech Entrepreneurs turn dreams into game-changing businesses! Data and AI use problem-solving skills to unlock the secrets of information. There’s a perfect tech fit for every curious mind – explore and see what ignites your spark!

For many years STEM subjects have been well-promoted to girls in schools and colleges. While this brings in more women to pursue tech and core science, the biggest challenge remains in retaining them in the workforce. Focusing solely on education in schools doesn’t address the fact that women still tend to leave the profession at an increased rate than men do.

Even after overcoming hurdles to enter the profession, the attrition rate for women is much higher rates than men, because of the skewed percentage and representation. It is not a level playing field leading to scenarios where women feel that their contributions are less valued than their male peers’ because tasks and roles have been gendered.

Many women juggle personal and professional responsibilities. Companies that offer trust and flexible work arrangements find that women thrive when they can prioritize themselves, manage expectations, and excel.

However, women can experience self-doubt (imposter syndrome) that hinders their contributions. Mentorship programs create a safe space for colleagues to connect and address these challenges.

To attract returning talent, organizations must be ready to welcome back women who took career breaks for family reasons. This includes providing training and support to help them get back up to speed. The lack of senior female role models can be discouraging. By inviting senior women to speak at events, companies can showcase the possibilities for success in tech. Finally, identifying high-potential women and assigning them challenging projects based on their skills can accelerate their careers, especially for those returning after a break.

Unconscious biases that arise from implicit differences lead to disengaged workforce. Preconceived notions on an individual versus assessing their actual abilities is an obstacle. For example, we presume that women will not be willing to work night shifts or lead teams or are prone to take a career break or travel for work.

Diversity education should stem at the grassroots level to address this. Women drop out of the workforce at varying levels due to societal and cultural expectations. The biggest challenge is some women let the society define their limits, or some imbibe internalised self-doubt. They should avoid picking the easy way out and evolve from perceived notions. In such scenarios, the need for interventions like role models, counsellors and a support system appear to be of great help.

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