Dismantling barriers & advancing women in tech to leadership roles

By Smitha Hemmigae, Head of Marketing & Employer Brand, ANSR

Gender diversity in tech transcends a mere checkbox today – it’s a potent force shaping company cultures and driving bottom-line success. While most global companies inch towards embracing this reality, the pace demands acceleration because a staggering 9 out of 10 Indian women feel their organisations lack concrete action toward true inclusivity.

Smitha Hemmigae

However, in this landscape of disparity, Global Capability Centers (GCCs) emerge as beacons of hope. Recognizing the strategic value of diverse perspectives, GCCs prioritize gender diversity from inception. They recognize that global teams with diverse experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives are essential for driving
business value globally, navigating the complexities of today’s global marketplace, and innovating more effectively. Within 4-5 years of their inception, their diversity ratios reach a remarkable 35%. ANSR & Talent500’s recent survey of 3,000+ women in tech paints a nuanced picture. While GCCs champion inclusivity, challenges remain. From gender stereotyping in interviews to a perceived lack of clear pathways to leadership, the survey unveils crucial areas demanding immediate attention.

Suggestion: Insights for CXOs from the survey:
● 75% Aspire for Leadership: Women expressed a desire for leadership roles, showcasing undeniable ambition.
● 20% see representation gap: Despite this ambition, only some felt adequately represented in senior positions, highlighting an urgent need for inclusivity.
● 72% crave breaking down stereotypes: 7 in 10 emphasized the importance of dismantling leadership stereotypes to pave the way for a diverse and inclusive future.
● 66% struggle with career paths: The lack of clear career paths underlines the need for robust mentoring and role models to guide informed career choices.

Charting the path to inclusive leadership
These insights expose the disconnect between aspirations and reality, highlighting the need for systemic
change. While GCCs champion diversity, gaps exist in career progression and leadership representation. To
truly unleash the potential of their diverse workforce, GCCs must take strategic steps.

Implementing transparent promotion frameworks: Establish clear and objective criteria based on merit, skills, and achievements. Regularly communicate these with all employees and ensure they are applied
consistently. Transparency fosters trust; eliminates the perception of bias and allows deserving women to
see a clear path to advancement.

Investing in leadership development programs: Specifically designed for women, these programs can equip them with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in leadership roles. Focus on areas like strategic
thinking, communication, negotiation, and influencing skills.

Creating mentorship & sponsorship opportunities: Pair aspiring women leaders with mentors who can provide guidance, support, and career advice. Additionally, identify senior leaders who can act as sponsors, actively advocating for their mentees and promoting their advancement within the organisation.

Unconscious bias training: Applicable to all leaders, managers, and HR professionals, this training raises
awareness of implicit biases that can influence decision-making and hinder the advancement of women. By
recognising and mitigating these biases, organizations are creating a fairer and more equitable environment
for all.

Tracking progress & analyzing data: At an organisation level, regularly monitor and analyze diversity metrics like representation at all levels, promotion rates, and leadership pipeline statistics. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and measure the effectiveness of implemented initiatives. Data-driven insights are crucial for ensuring continuous progress and achieving long-term diversity goals.

Learning from leaders: Inspiring examples
Several leading companies have already taken proactive steps to advance women in tech to leadership roles,
serving as inspiring examples for others to follow. For instance, Microsoft’s Women in Leadership (WIL)
program empowers women to build their networks, develop leadership skills, and navigate their career
paths effectively.

Lululemon’s GCC in Bangalore stands as a shining example of commitment to gender equality. Bucking the
the national average of 21% female representation, the GCC boasts a remarkable 40% women in its workforce,
achieved through strategic partnerships with women-centric networks like Pride Circle and Aspire for Her.
This dedication to inclusivity fosters a culture where leadership roles are within reach, paving the way for a
more equitable future in the tech industry.

Dismantling barriers and advancing women in tech to leadership roles is not just a moral imperative but a
strategic step forward for organisations seeking to drive innovation, creativity, and growth. Even studies
show companies with women at the helm see 21% higher profits. So, the question is, can your company
afford to ignore this opportunity for exponential growth?

Comments (0)
Add Comment