When it comes to the gender gap in the ICT industry, there are gains to be celebrated and programs like Women Rising that you can consider.
Deloitte Global places large global technology firms at an average of 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022 - a slight increase from 2019. Organisations can improve further by tapping into professional development programs and learning from the initiatives of larger corporations.
Women in Tech Leaders by the Numbers
Grant Thornton International released their Women in Business 2022 report that tracked the position of women in senior management across the world as well as the progress toward gender parity in organisational leadership.
Survey results for the APAC and ASEAN regions paint a nuanced picture of women in technology percentages in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
The ASEAN ranked second highest with 37% of the region’s leaders being female - a minor decline compared to last year’s 38% and 2018's 39%. In 2022, the Asia Pacific caught up with other regions, reaching 30% for senior roles held by women - a high point when compared to 28% in 2021 and 23% in 2018.
And in terms of CEO/MD roles held by women, APAC lags at only 16%. ASEAN organisations are faring better here at 32%.
But while we’re seeing more women in the C-Suite, the data shows that most senior business women often hold HR director or CMO roles that are traditionally perceived as less immersed in operations and more supporting than COO, CIO and CTO roles.
Still, a renewed energy comes with the shifts brought on by COVID-19. Especially as more organisations face challenges with ICT talent recruitment and retention and the digital transformation of their sales, marketing and service delivery.
Supporting More Women in Technology
Given the statistics around the gender gap in technology and leadership, two immediate questions arise: Why do we need more women in science and technology? And what can you do to contribute as a woman yourself or as an ally?
In a conversation with the British Computer Society (BCS), The Chartered Institute for IT, Dame Stephanie Shirley CH FBCS, a pioneering IT entrepreneur and passionate philanthropist had this to say:
"We need more women in tech because we need more people in tech. All predictions are for a massive shortfall of STEM graduates."
Beyond the numbers, having more women in technology from diverse cultures and backgrounds provides a balanced take on innovation. It can offer insights on how cloud computing, cybersecurity, ITSM and data & AI can be used to positively impact all types of individuals and communities.
As to the question of "how to close the gaps?" look to larger technology companies for inspiration.
Map out your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy.
A majority of professionals indicated a company's DEI policies and performance as a principal factor in whether to accept a job offer or not. This is according to a 2020 study by Lenovo and Intel.
Set goals, follow through and communicate.
Public commitments must be matched with specific, actionable and time-bound goals related to recruitment, attrition, promotion and engagement. Progress reports on these goals should then be communicated internally and externally.
Put together programs to attract and grow talent.
Closing the gender gap does not stop at recruitment. It should include initiatives for employee engagement and career development like nominating suitable candidates within the team for training & certification programs from IT leaders like Microsoft.
The Women Rising Program
Women Rising supports women around the world with a holistic personal and professional development journey. The program is supported by Microsoft and DDLS. The program offers evidence based content, expert coaching and a supportive community that helps women grow into authentic leaders in business and technology.
It has two core programs designed to help women rise, managers thrive, and your organisation create a tangible impact for career development, recruitment pipelines, retention strategies and gender diversity outcomes.
A 6-month virtual learning and community experience open to all women globally from any company, industry, role or experience level. Valued at AUD$999.
The aligned program for managers and allies ready to support women on their program journey. All genders are welcome. Valued at AUD$1499.
Key dates for the program for 2022 through 2023 include the following:
September 2022 - Cohort intake
11 May - 02 September - Registration period
14 & 15 September - Program launch calls
19 September - Program commencement
24 March 2023 - Program close
DDLS, Microsoft and Women in Technology
DDLS believes in making the ICT space more accessible and safer. Every day, we continue this work. And this is reflected in how we facilitate training sessions, build communities with our partners and students, and enable people to thrive in the digital landscape of tomorrow.
Microsoft has been one of our long-standing partners and we are collaborating with them as they offer partial women in technology scholarships. You can get 50% off the standard rate for the Women Rising program supported by Microsoft.
The DDLS Group is offering two $2000 scholarships for ICT training courses. 1 participant from each of the next two cohorts of the Women Rising Program will be eligible. Learn more about it here.
If you are interested in the September 2022 cohort for Women Rising, feel free enquire by visiting https://www.womenrisingco.com/contact or sending an email to [email protected] to set up a time to speak. For frequently asked questions, you can visit womenrisingco.com/faq