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IWD 2024: Embracing change: The catalyst for women's empowerment in tech
Thu, 7th Mar 2024

As we observe International Women's Day, it's a moment to both celebrate the advancements of women in technology and to critically address the ongoing challenge of gender disparity in the field. 

Despite Deloitte's 2019-2022 report showcasing a 6.9% increase in women's participation in the global tech workforce and an 11.7% rise in technical roles, leadership positions exhibit a more modest growth. The estimated 20% increase in women's leadership roles, though significant, reveals a pronounced discrepancy when compared to other sectors. 

This reveals a twofold challenge: while tech companies are progressively diversifying their workforce, achieving an inclusive leadership structure remains an uphill battle. It underscores the need for gender diversity and broader inclusion to be championed with the same fervour and strategic planning as other critical organizational goals. 

To significantly enhance the representation of women in leadership positions within the tech industry, two critical drivers must be prioritized and addressed: transforming corporate culture and initiatives and empowering women to take proactive control over their career trajectories. 

The first driver necessitates a fundamental shift in corporate culture and the implementation of targeted initiatives aimed at fostering gender diversity at the leadership level. 

The second driver emphasizes the need for women to assertively take control of their careers, advocating for themselves and seizing leadership opportunities. It involves 

Self-Advocacy: Women in tech must become adept at advocating for their accomplishments, skills, and potential. Learning to effectively communicate their values and aspirations to superiors and peers is crucial for career advancement. 

● Continuous Learning and Skill Development: Embracing a mindset of continuous learning and seeking opportunities for skill development can position women as strong candidates for leadership roles. This might include pursuing advanced technical training, leadership workshops, or industry certifications. 

● Networking and Community Building: Building a robust professional network and engaging with communities of women in tech can provide support, resources, and opportunities. Participation in industry conferences, online forums, and women-focused tech groups can help women gain visibility and access to leadership pathways. 

● Challenging the Status Quo: Women should be prepared to challenge existing norms and advocate for systemic changes within their organizations. This might involve proposing new policies, participating in diversity and inclusion committees, or leading initiatives aimed at improving workplace culture for all employees.

Women need to embrace their own journeys of transformation and growth. 

Two years ago, after 17 years in the corporate realm, working in 5 different countries, managing teams across more than 15 countries, and recognizing a misalignment between my professional achievements and personal fulfilment, I embarked on a transformative journey of self-reflection. This period of introspection led me to appreciate the importance of embracing change — not merely as a necessity but as a pathway to personal and professional growth. 

As I embark on the next exciting chapter of my career journey, filled with boundless possibilities and opportunities for growth, I am reminded of the transformative power of bold decisions. My journey was not just about changing locations or job titles. It was about shedding layers of comfort and confronting the raw, uncharted potential of what I could achieve. It was about learning that the greatest risk is not in stepping into the unknown but in staying stagnant in the known. 

Leveraging these insights, I am now dedicated to coaching and mentoring women in tech. By sharing my experiences and the strategies that facilitated my career progression, I aim to inspire others to confidently navigate their own paths. The road is fraught with obstacles, but through collective support and resilience, we can pave the way to a more inclusive industry. 

This International Women's Day, I urge my fellow women in tech to embrace change as an opportunity for empowerment and advancement. Engaging in mentorship, expanding professional networks, and sharing our experiences can uplift us all, fostering a tech industry where women's leadership is not the exception but the norm. 

Our collective endeavor towards gender equality in tech leadership continues. With each step forward, we lay the groundwork for future generations of women in tech. By challenging the status quo, welcoming change, and celebrating every achievement, we move closer to a future where women's representation in tech leadership is standard.