At the WomenTech Network, we’re fortunate to have a wonderful, global community of ambassadors who help us spread the word about our work and who helped us make the WomenTech Global Conference 2020 a success and continue helping us on or mission to unite women in tech. We would like you to meet these wonderful people as well; therefore, we’re going to be introducing you to some of our most active members.
Today, get to know Hari Priya:
Hari Priya is from India. Her hometown is situated in the literacy city “Kottayam”, i.e. “Kuravilangad”. Hari is currently pursuing her final year B.Tech degree from St. Joseph’s College of Engineering & Technology (SJCET) in Palai. She is specializing in Computer Science Engineering. Hari has a passion for engineering and technology. She wishes to explore more ideas related to technology. Currently, she is doing her final year project on Prediction of Bitcoin Prices Using Deep Learning.
I am interested in the field of technology, especially, the field of engineering. Engineers are the pillars of tomorrow. Without the hands of an engineer the world would have no existence, irrespective of the engineering streams. As an engineer I am proud to say that I will be a budding engineer that would soon turn into flowers.
In Hari's Own Words:
Why aren’t there more female CEOs in tech?
Differential treatment continues to disadvantage golden opportunities of women. Women are often not given the opportunity to express their ideas or beliefs before the world. They are suppressed by the male dominance. So, most women are reluctant to step out from their safe and comfort zones to a world with flying colors.
But now the situation has changed somewhat with the upcoming of the ignited youths. Yes, every woman is lit up by a fire in her mind. But not all have the guts to accept their true spirit and go ahead. The only reason behind the reluctance of women into the tech field is the lack of support from their family or from their husband and kids.
Many women are not ready to accept the challenge. After having a family, they stop their beautiful career path. This leads to the reduction in the number of women CEOs and other women in tech. Research says that only about 5% of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies have female CEOs. Also, if a woman becomes CEO, then she will have to face a lot of criticisms from her community and surroundings. The challenge for women trying to climb to the upper echelons of corporate leadership ---and to succeed in those positions to the same degree that men do---appears sobering.
Also, it’s sad that there are fewer levels of women at senior levels in a company because of social factors. For example, women perform more caretaker duties than men do. And the need for maternity leave and absence to care for sick children hurts women’s careers. In addition to all the above factors, they experience different socialization processes than men.
So, it’s time to change and if more support is given to women, then there would be more women at top positions like CEOs of a company. A better approach is simply making sure women have the same opportunities to develop as men. Let’s look forward to a world with equal opportunities for women and men irrespective of gender inequalities.
What can companies do to increase the number of women in technology?
There are a number of initiatives being run by STEM groups across the country to raise the profile of girls in tech at an earlier age to try and reduce the effect of gender stereotyping, with engineering companies regularly holding talks with their female engineers in schools and events to showcase the range of roles available in the STEM industries. The reason why women might not enter the tech industry at, say, 21 after finishing university, could have a lot to do with gender stereotyping occurring much earlier on. Tech is a heavily male-dominated environment, and the numbers of women in senior roles is still shockingly low.
About 48% of women said a barrier to progressing in their tech careers was due to a lack of female mentors. Another 42% said it was down to a lack of female role models. If we aren’t seeing women in positions of authority in the tech sector, then women at the beginning of their careers don’t have role models to follow. Companies need to start looking at how they can build more mentorship programs, linking up senior women with junior counterparts, and making it worthwhile for both parties.
This also links in to more companies selecting women for managerial positions so they can coach and develop their teams and be a role model to other aspiring managers. For women who have had children and are the primary caregiver, returning to work requires a degree of flexibility on the part of the employer to enable a better work-life balance. About 65% of women say their employers offer flexible work arrangements; however, it is reported that there is a ‘flexibility stigma’ where women feel punished or judged if they do take up offers of flexible work arrangements.
So, companies should conduct several programs for women to bring them back into company life. Women clubs and activities should be promoted so that they will have a strong feeling of being included.
Do you think we need to be writing code to be in the tech industry?
No, I don’t think coding skills are an essential part to enter into the tech industry. Coding is not the only part of technical work. Lots of other skills are required to get into the tech industry.
Today, a wide variety of resources are available for entrepreneurs who have an idea for a tech company, but lack the programming skills to build it. While it has never been easier to launch a startup without a technical background, entrepreneurs and industry insiders still debate whether those skills are fundamental to entering the tech industry. Nowadays, whether a founder has a technical background or not, the opportunity to turn a great idea into a business is becoming a global phenomenon. This is the main highlight.
There are several other fields in tech industry like testing, training etc. where coding skills are not required. So, I need to say to people who are beginning their career in the tech industry is that coding is not an essential aspect. What is important is the ability to adapt to the rules of an organization and to be flexible. The ability to explore more ideas will help them in their career path.