Women are slowly but steadily gaining leadership positions in the tech industry. According to the Deloitte report, women held 1 in 4 leadership positions in large global technology companies in 2022. In addition, the report compared 2019 with 2022 for 20 large technology organizations and found a 19.5% growth of women in leadership positions.
Numerous big tech companies have already made a public commitment to increasing women's penetration in technical and leadership roles. The tech industry has always been known to be male-dominated, but commitments and reports such as these show that a shift is occurring in the corporate culture for a better future.
The current steady rise of women in the tech industry aligns with the 2023 UN theme of International Women's Day – DigitAll: Innovation and technology for gender equality. Engaging women is the key to development for all industries, including tech.
Several global technology companies are already trying to bring changes in leadership roles by hiring more women and encouraging others. Initiatives like this will send positive signals to prospective employees and bring a fast shift in the corporate culture. Moreover, it might also help the companies to escalate the retention of women employees.
Initiatives similar to global tech companies are also occurring in Bangladesh. Multiple companies in tech have women in leadership positions. For instance, Fariha Ahmed is a Senior Manager of foodpanda Bangladesh and leads a team of 85 members. Joined as Management Trainee, she became part of the leadership role in only 2.5 years. Under her supervision, the company witnessed several changes and growth; of note, a 13% increase in satisfaction among riders in 3 months, a decrease in customer queries by 38% within 6 months, and creation of part-time employment for all tier university students. “Passion, hunger for performance & and open-mind are the key to excellence,” says Fariha. “Understanding people, great deal of empathy and strong work ethics are also some key traits that I think must be brought to the table to tackle challenges at work. I never really thought there was a ceiling to break, and enjoyed work to the fullest.”
Promoted to a Senior Manager in just 2.5 years, her journey has been exemplary. This comes as a testament to women's inclusion in the tech scene.
Companies also have to promote women's empowerment in communities. For instance, the Homechef Program by foodpanda Bangladesh is helping homemakers become entrepreneurs. Such initiatives to promote women's economic empowerment align with the 2023 International Women's Day theme (UN). Moreover, developing an inclusive culture is mandatory for the growth of companies globally, including Bangladesh. In the current period; organizations without diverse tech leadership can lose ground to competitors.
Women tend to be equally ambitious as men, and both genders are willing to take risks to advance in their careers. They also have increased technical or tech-adjacent expertise. However, even though both genders are equally capable of handling leadership roles, women still tackle more challenges than men. Thus, it is a must for companies globally, including Bangladesh, to set the tone on inclusivity by promoting women's leadership and gender equality, especially in the technology industry.
The writer is a communication professional