Keshalya Jayapalraj – People Development: “If we judge a fish by its ability to climb the tallest tree in the forest; and a bird by its ability to swim to the deepest depths of the ocean, we risk never finding suitable candidates for either task.”
International Women’s Day is dedicated to the hard-working, ambitious, and dedicated female worker in all industries. In our endeavors to create a brighter future and a better society for all, today we take a look at the challenges women face on a daily basis. Women, no doubt, are the cornerstone to the success of humankind. It’s only women who can birth, nurture and raise the next generation of the most advanced species that is humankind. Therefore, it goes without saying that women are largely responsible for the success of humankind across the world.
However, just like all things great come with great struggle, Women have their fair share of troubles in seeking happiness, meaningfulness, ambitions, and fair pay as they endeavor to contribute to the future of technology.
At Tech Venturas we believe in a holistic and inclusive environment with equal opportunity for all members of our team so that everyone shares the rewards of our successes. We also believe in understanding and nurturing the strengths of women in a traditionally male-dominant workplace and that this trend will continue to create a friendly work culture for women, young and old across the world.
In our attempts to make work-life easy for all and consider the different challenges that women face in today’s technology industry we felt it necessary to share some of the biggest challenges a typical woman encounters on a daily basis in the industry. We hope this article may shed light on the obstacles women overcome silently in their honored pursuit of an inclusive, sustainable and brighter future for all – especially women and young girls around the world.
Gender bias, stereotyping, and likability – Women experience the unpleasantness of gender bias in the workplace in nearly all industries. Overcoming stereotyping of the genders at work is a problem that needs to be addressed especially in the fields of sciences with special attention to the technology industry. Intelligent and capable women are usually ignored or overlooked in filling the positions of leadership and responsibility. It’s unfortunate, to say the least, that looks can be deceiving and that women shouldn’t be stereotyped on looks and gender alone – rather on merit and capabilities.
Fear of Glass Ceilings – Overcoming the age-old glass ceiling is another common workplace challenge for women. The fear that breaking through a career glass ceiling may come with great sacrifice, is often frowned upon and looked down on by traditions and society. Such intangible barriers to career growth and the professional development of women must be identified, discussed, and removed for the betterment of the industry.
Male dominance and being left out – The industry has long been male-dominated and as a result, has led to the precedence of the typical male executive being favored for newer and challenging roles. We believe that women are equally adept if not more, or differently, and we encourage that women be recognized as leaders for innovation and development of groundbreaking technology.
Getting back to work – Typically, when considering socio-cultural norms, when a child is in the process of development in the womb and then birthed, it is the woman who has to take on the life-endangering challenge of nourishing, nurturing, and raising a brand new human being. In the case of the woman in concern she then has to face another series of challenges in getting back to work and managing two separate responsibilities, both perceived as imperative to the cause. A woman also has to face the social conventions of having to choose between raising a child or dedicating herself to success at work. We hope and encourage that women do not have to face the challenge all on their own and that they are recognized for their valuable contributions to society and are taken care of at the workplace with empathy, inclusivity, and recognition for their labors.
Educational challenges – Young girls and women are burdened by conventions and traditions of age-old societies in their endeavors to gain education and pathways to rewarding careers. The social pressures of having to become a ‘good wife’ or a ‘dutiful daughter’ place intangible boundaries to the distance of how far a woman can educate herself. We need to recognize that all women should be blessed with equal opportunity to further their education and that safe spaces are provided for the fulfillment of education in their desired fields of study.
Not being heard and talked over – in many organizations, team meetings tend to take on the form of patriarchal nature, where the alpha member is usually a dominant male executive. The nature of such ‘wolf packs’ tends to exude a condescending attitude to women in the team, resulting in passive or subdued participation by women in the same team. Many times women feel ‘talked over’ when sharing their concerns or inputs to the collective success of a common organizational goal and are thus marginalized in their inclusion and subsequent recognition. We need more empathetic leadership in the boardroom where voices are heard and valuable contributions are not talked over.
Seeking role models and mentors – The industry is plenty abound with role models who are of the male gender. Take for instance the most famous and successful leaders in software engineering, deep space exploration, healthcare sciences, or even political statesmanship; are more often than not – male by nature. This has led to a serious shortage of women role models whom younger girls can emulate and follow in the footsteps of. At the workplace, we believe that women should be provided with growing opportunities to set a precedent for the benefit of the next generation of women leaders. Similarly in the matter of mentors, whom young women executives may confide in and gain advice regarding career progression, skills development, and future leadership training, it is imperative that opportunities are provided to women at the workplace with the goal of creating a friendlier, inclusive, sustainable and rewarding future for all.
Misogyny, sexism, and objectification in the workplace and periphery – The challenge of being a woman in the industry is real. It’s not limited to the workplace. Women constantly have to deal with the toxicity of male-dominant patriarchal societies, especially in the developing world. Women are subject to sexism, objectification, and misogynistic attitudes that prevail from patriarchal socio-cultural norms. Women silently endure verbal abuse, cyber-bullying, sexual harassment, and condescension at the workplace work, as well as to work and from work. Traveling to and from work can be a traumatic experience for many women, young and old, especially those who depend on public transport for commutes to the workplace. For the betterment of a brighter future, friendlier society, and development of future generations of women – we need to identify, make aware and address the barriers that hinder the development of women, as a highly-skilled and resourceful asset to the industry.
Thank you for reading our latest blog post. We at Tech Venturas are delighted that you visited our blog and thank you for your time. Tech Venturas is an equal opportunity, gender-neutral and merit-based organization that actively encourages the participation of women in tech. If you wish to stay updated with news of what we are doing please feel free to subscribe here.