When women empower one another, amazing things can happen! And I hope to inspire exactly those amazing things with this piece.
How to increase the number of women in technology careers has been a central question for companies that are sincerely focused on fostering diversity and inclusion. The answer lies at the grassroots level. We need to encourage more girls to enter STEM-related fields. Initially, this is not a very difficult feat. According to a study by MasterCard, 93% of Indian girls between the ages of 12 and 14 consider STEM-related careers. However, this number decreases as their education progresses, and falls even further once they enter the workforce.
Despite this, the number of women in entry-level positions in companies has significantly increased. However, this follows a similar pattern of decline as women move into mid- and senior-level positions. Herein, is our challenge.
Cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and courteous workplace environment can go a long way in encouraging women to pursue, and enabling them to thrive in, a technology focused career. Building an organization on the foundation of equality can help drive innovation and development.Making women colleagues feel valued can open new opportunities for growth and leadership. At Fiserv, our Women’s Impact Network employee resource group has taken steps to enhance growth of our women colleagues by serving as a platform that leverages the power of collective ideas.
Today, technology companies are making progress in building support programs that aim at bringing more women into the workforce. At Fiserv, our return-to-work program encourages women who are on a career break for a wide range of reasons to re-join the workforce. They are then supported through training to upskill themselves and receive mentoring during the process.
While these types of programs are impactful, they will not succeed without active participation by women. It is as much in the hands of ambitious women to turn the tide as it is in the industry’s control. We have the drive, ambition, talent and skills, and all it takes is that extra mile of belief in ourselves.
Women are achieving doctorate degrees and thriving in the fields of engineering, technology, academia, social sciences, politics– the list is countless – exemplifying that the goal of workforce representation is possible. These fields demand constant upskilling and talent initiatives can play a major role in fostering inclusion. Such initiatives include learning programs that empower attendees to stay abreast with the changing times. These programs reiterate attendees’ strengths and expertise, while identifying suitable and higher positions at the workplace. Organizations that reinforce their values of retaining talent and fortifying skills provide an environment of support and coherence.
Their undying zeal, irreplaceable curiosity and fierce passion towards continuous learning have the power to convert more women into technology careers. In such cases, if a window of opportunity shines in front of us, we must grab it with open arms. Through history, we have witnessed the magic of powerful women in technology like Ada Lovelace, Sister Mary Keller, Hedy Lamarr, Mary Wilkes and countless others.
Let nothing stand in our way of success – especially not our own selves.In hope that amazing things will happen – starting with you. Yes, you
(The author is Vice President – Application Operations and Infrastructure Engineering, Fiserv Global Services)