Accenture Aims At 50/50 Gender Equality Across The Company By 2025

Arati Deo, Managing Director and Lead – AI & Data Practice and Inclusion & Diversity, Advanced Technology Centers in India (ATCI), Accenture

Express Computer has interviewed eminent personalities from the technology space to bring more perspective on how women are thriving in the tech industry

Express Computer gets into an exclusive interaction with Dr. Arati Deo, Managing Director and Lead – AI & Data Practice and Inclusion & Diversity, Advanced Technology Centers in India (ATCI), Accenture to share her experiences and insights as a woman in tech. 

Knowing that gender biases exist, how difficult is it to be a woman and thrive in your specific field?

For women looking to succeed in the field of technology, this is a great time- there are many new emerging technologies, coupled with an unprecedented pace of innovation. This levels the playing field since there is an opportunity for everyone to learn and get skilled in new areas. Today, most organisations are making a conscious effort to encourage diversity at the workplace because they understand that a culture of diversity can be a great competitive differentiator. While progressive organizations are providing women with the right support structures, women must rise to the occasion as well, by investing in self-learning to equip themselves with the right skills.

What role do you think technology plays in contemporary times?

Technology plays a crucial role in giving more opportunities to women as rapid innovation continues to be a key success driver for organizations, there is a greater need for a skilled workforce, irrespective of gender, to drive innovation at scale. The internet has been a huge enabler for learning – it has democratised learning by providing people across the world with ample opportunity to gain access to resources and increase their technical knowledge in fields they are passionate about.

What are the immediate and long-term milestones for your company?

Accenture is committed to the cause of diversity and inclusion which is why we are working towards our goal of achieving 50/50 gender equality across the company by 2025. We want to see an increased number of women in higher-level leadership positions in the company.  

We also understand that diversity goes beyond gender diversity, that is why we have many programs that aim to attract talent from all segments of society, which includes Persons with disabilities, the LGBTQ community and veterans.

How can we have more women joining the workforce?

Organisations are now beginning to view diversity as a crucial business imperative. They need to consciously work towards achieving gender equality and build an ecosystem of collaboration and innovation for everyone regardless of gender, race, nationality or any other factor. 

Our research has highlighted that with comprehensive action, combined with policies and practices that are family-friendly, supportive of all genders, and bias-free in attracting and retaining people, organizations can move closer towards a culture of equality.

Additionally, we should look at providing more opportunities for women in the field. At Accenture, for instance, through our Skills to Succeed program, we partner with various NGOs to train women, underprivileged youth and persons with disabilities, to help train those who are interested in pursuing a career in technology but may not have the access to relevant resources. We have also developed a High-Tech Women training program which is aimed to increase the technology specialization and architecture skills for women technologists to enable their success and growth in new emerging roles.

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